Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more


  • Comment
The Department for Transport has published National Statistics ...
The Department for Transport has published National Statistics

about the travel habits of residents of Great Britain. The drawn

sample size for 2002 was nearly trebled compared with previous years

following recommendations in a National Statistics Review of the

National Travel Survey. This enables key results to be presented on a

single year basis for the first time. Changes to the methodology in

2002 mean that there are some inconsistencies with data for earlier


The main findings include:

- On average, Great Britain residents travelled 7,000 miles in 2002.

This was an increase of 8 per cent since 1991/1993, reflecting a 13

per cent increase in the average length of trip from 6.1 miles to

6.9 miles.

- The average number of trips made in 2002 was 1,000 per person per

year, 5 per cent less than in 1991/1993.

- The total number of hours the average person travels in a year rose

5 per cent above the level which had prevailed for the last decade,

reflecting an increase in the average time per trip for most modes

and an increase in car driver trips.

- 28 per cent of households in Great Britain did not have access to a

car in 2002, compared with 32 per cent in 1991/1993. Only 20 per

cent of people lived in households without a car as households

without cars tend to be smaller than average.

- The proportion of women holding full car driving licences has

increased from 53 to 61 per cent since 1991/1993, while the

proportion of men holding licences has remained at 81 per cent.

Licence holding among those aged 60-69 rose from 57 to 70 per cent

over this period.

- Car travel accounted for four fifths of the total distance

travelled. Overall, the distance travelled by car increased by 10

per cent over the last 10 years.

- The number of walking trips fell by over 20 per cent in the last 10


- The number of commuting trips per person per year fell by 8 per

cent in the last 10 years, but the average trip length rose by 17

per cent.

- Since 1991/1993, the proportion of primary-aged children walking to

school has declined from 60 to 51 per cent, with an increase from

29 to 41 per cent in the numbers being driven to school. For

secondary school pupils there was a similar, shift from walking to

car use.

The Government's 10 Year Plan targets

The government's 10 Year Plan includes two targets for England which

are monitored using NTS data:

- to triple the number of cycling stages compared with the 2000 base

of 18 stages per person per year. The estimate for 2002 was 17

stages per person per year. However, figures for single years need

to be treated with caution because the sample sizes are small.

- to achieve a one-third increase (from 35 per cent to 47 per cent)

in the proportion of households in rural areas within about 10

minutes walk of an hourly or better bus service by 2010. The level

for 2002 was 48 per cent.


1. National Travel Survey: 2002 Provisional Results is published by

DfT. The report updates the main data series published last year from

1999/2001 to 2002. This bulletin has been released as soon as

possible, so that the latest figures are available to users, but

should be regarded as provisional until the full database is

available. A more detailed bulletin, including results from new

questions introduced in 2002, will be published in Spring 2004.

2. The 2002 National Travel Survey is the latest in a series of

household surveys designed to provide a databank of personal travel

information for Great Britain. The survey is part of a continuous

survey that began in July 1988. During 2002, over 7,400 households

provided details of their personal travel by filling in travel

diaries over a period of a week, compared with nearly 3,500

households in 2001. Previously data has been shown fo r a three year

time period because of the small sample size. The increased sample

size in 2002 enables most key results to be presented on a single

year basis for the first time. The survey is designed to pick up long

term trends and is not suitable for monitoring short-term trends.

3. There are some discontinuities between data for 2002 and previous

years as a result of:

- changes in the sampling methodology (eg stratification by

population density rather than socio-economic group)

- a change in contractor leading to use of interviewers new to the

survey, coding the diaries centrally rather than by interviewers

and clarification of definitions. These are spelt out more fully in

the introduction to the Bulletin. The Technical Report for the 2002

survey containing details of sampling, fieldwork and data

processing has also been published today on the DfT website.

4. Travel details provided by respondents include trip purpose,

method of travel, time of day and trip length. The households also

provided background information, such as the age, sex, working

status, and driving licence holding of individuals, and details of

the cars available for their use.

5. The bulletin and the 2002 Technical Report are available in PDF

format on the transport statistics web site:

6. The bulletin is available from Spencer Broadley, Zone 2/15, Great

Minster House, 76 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DR (020 7944 3097), or

by e-mail:


The Department for Transport has today published on its website the

sixth edition of Transport Trends. This National Statistics

publication provides readers with an introduction to the major trends

in domestic transport and travel in GB. It presents an overview of

key trends over the past twenty years, and highlights some of the key

issues. It is intended as a companion volume to Transpor t Statistics

Great Britain, which contains reference tables containing more

detailed figures and, in some cases, longer time trends.

This edition of Transport Trends follows the structure of the

previous publication, the main changes involving the inclusion of new

data where possible. The website presentation of the charts has been

improved, and, as before, all the data underlying the graphics is

available on the web-site. A further update of Transport Trends will

be made when more information becomes available from the 2002

National Travel Survey next year.

A summary of Transport Trends, and the links to the full document and

to all the underlying data, can be found on the DfT website at



1. In July 2000, the government published Transport 2010, The 10 Year

Plan. This set out a range of targets and indicators which would be

monitored and regularly reported on. The main indicators are included

in the relevant sections of Transport Trends, which illustrates the

longer-term trends and also presents a wider range of statistical

analysis to help put the key policy targets and their trends into a

broader context. Transport Trends also reports on those of the

government's sustainable development indicators which are most

relevant to transport.

2. The DfT Transport Statistics website at also includes a wide range of other

statistical material and publications.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.