Commuters predicted to abandon public transport and bikes in favour of cars
by Alex Bowden June 21 2016
Government aim to double cycling journeys not reflected in its own projections
Department for Transport (DfT) modelling suggests that over the course of the next 25 years, commuters will ditch bikes and public transport and instead get behind the wheel. All modes of transport are forecast to drop in popularity by 2040 except for cars.
In 2015, Britons made on average 22.1 journeys by bike, but this is predicted to drop to 20.5 by 2040, while the number of bus trips is predicted to fall by about a quarter.
In contrast, car journeys are forecast to rise from 2015’s 453.4 journeys to 503.9 a year – and despite this greater car us, it is also predicted that fewer trips will be made as a passenger in a car. Single occupancy car journeys would therefore appear to be the future – at least according to the DfT.
The figures do not account for the Department’s Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, which was still in development when the forecasts were made.
Cyclosis [71 posts] 10 hours ago
It’s absurd. They make the same ridiculous calculations every year and it is wrong every year. They just flat ignore the fact that distance travelled by car been falling consistantly for over a decade.
Here’s a blog on exactly the same thing from 2013:
They just keep on repeating the same mistake. Or is it made on purpose? The cynic in me says it suits the motoring lobby just fine.
This graph, from the Department for Transport’s 2013 Road Transport Forecasts (which summarises the results from their National Transport Model) has been doing the rounds on social media this week.
It shows that the amount of distance we are travelling by car, per capita, in Britain has fallen consistently since the early-2000s; and yet their model predicts that this decline will reverse, and car miles per person will increase by 15% by 2040.
What is just as remarkable, however, is the Department for Transport’s own analysis of this graph –
Figure 16 below shows that, according to our forecast, miles per person will increase by 15% percent by 2040 (9% above pre-recession levels) despitean increase in GDP per capita of 66% and fuel cost decreasing by 24%. [my emphasis]
The key word here being ‘despite’.
The DfT believe that increases in GDP per capita, and falling fuel costs, should really push car miles per person even higher than the projected 15% increase. Coupled with a projected 20% increase in English population by 2040, the DfT are forecasting that overall road traffic will be 46% higher in 2040 than 2010.
Responses to The DfT and their car traffic forecasts
- KristianCyc says:
November 28, 2014 at 12:18 pm
Trouble is they use these predictions to allocate funding to projects. They do not account for any reallocation of road space, so predict that car usage will rise with the economy, then choose not to fund any applications for projects that reallocate road space and instead fund projects that increase space allocation to driving.All in all it’s a heads-i-win, tails-you-lose situation for the automotive/oil industries, who can always guarantee their preferred mode of transport is subsidised, prioritised and catered for.Reply
- ORiordan says:
November 28, 2014 at 1:02 pm
Yeah, they aren’t going to come up with an answer that says driving is declining so you can cut the roads budget.It would be interesting to know if the models include the *time* spent driving. The Dft seem to say that if GDP goes up and oil is cheap, then people will drive more and more but that translates to more and more time spent stuck in a car somewhere. Generally speaking, I think there is a limit to the time most people want to spend in a car and beyond that point, they will choose to spend their time doing something else rather than keep on driving more and more.Another factor in London is the increasing age that people are getting driving licenses, so the proportion of people in their 20s with driving licenses is much lower than it was 10 years ago.
As these cohorts get older, the number of people driving can be expected to decline further.
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