Little change in drivers' expectations of using a car to get to work, RAC finds
09 November 2020
Author: Sean Keywood
A majority of drivers still expect to drive to offices or other places of work in the future, despite the coronavirus pandemic, according to the RAC.
A new survey by the motoring organisation found that 64% still expect to need a car to get to work, only slightly down on the 67% who did so beforehand, although 36% of drivers said they expect to work from home more frequently.
The findings were part of wide-ranging research for the RAC's annual Report on Motoring, which also found 57% of UK drivers thought having access to a car was more important than it was before the pandemic.
Another finding was that only 43% of drivers said they would use their cars less even if public transport was improved - down sharply from 57% in 2019, and the first time the figure has been below 50% since 2002.
RAC spokesperson Rod Dennis said: "Even with lower traffic volumes, the pandemic appears to have reinforced the bond between drivers and their cars - with public transport less attractive than ever.
"Motorists see having access to a car as being even more important for the trips they need to make, be that shopping for essentials or getting out to see family and friends in other parts of the country when restrictions allow."
Dennis said that without a concerted effort from the government and local councils, efforts to persuade drivers out of their cars would be set back by years.
"Even before the coronavirus, drivers complained that public transport fares were often too high and services didn't run when they needed them to.
"Now, for the first time since 2002, we have fewer drivers than ever saying they're prepared to use public transport even if services improved - underlining just what a huge role the car continues to play in 2020.
"As cities seek to improve air quality and make urban centres cleaner places, it's clear that low-cost, efficient alternatives to the car need further thinking and much greater financial investment.
"Park and ride sites make a lot of sense and cater for the many people who are too far from regular public transport networks, but perhaps now is the time for the concept to evolve to encompass park and cycle, park and walk, or even park and scoot."