Only 25% of public willing to switch to public transport, research finds

New research from has revealed that, while 75% of the public agree that switching to greener forms of transport is very or somewhat important to tackle climate change, only around a quarter of people are willing to make the switch to walking, cycling or using public transport, to tackle the issue.

Two government studies, which surveyed 1,705 adults in England and Scotland, sought to gain insight into British attitudes towards greener travel options, reports Route One.

The research found that 42% of respondents were not willing to make the switch to public transport, citing poor reliability, regularity and convenience as the main barriers. More than a quarter of respondents also stated that journeys were too long to take greener travel options.

However, the study found that 40% of people would be willing to an electric car.

When looking at different demographic groups, the 30-49 age group felt the strongest (78%) about switching to greener transport options being important to combat climate change, while 8% of those aged 16-29 felt that the switch was somewhat or very unimportant for climate change. Just under one in 10 of all age groups said they simply weren’t interested in using greener forms of transport.

Interestingly, the study found that one in 20 women felt switching to greener transport was either somewhat unimportant or not important at all, compared to almost one in 10 men. Additionally, 31% of women cioted long travel distances as a barrier versus 25% of men.

Similarly, more women saw a lack of reliability, regularity and convenience (44%) and stations being too far apart (25%) as more of a barrier than men (38% and 22% respectively).

Commenting on the findings, CEO of, Jonathan Merry, says: “Many of us talk about what needs to be done, or what we might be willing to do – but actually following through and doing it is what makes the difference. Electric cars can save anywhere from 37% to 83% in emissions compared to petrol cars – but fewer cars on the road in general can only be a good thing.

“It’s down to the government too – if poor public transport standards are a significant barrier, it’s up to them to improve things in a sustainable way.”


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