2.5 The alternatives

Half of motorists still strongly agree they would find it difficult to adjust to life without a car. But there has been a steadily growing consensus that they would use their cars less if public transport were better, up from 48% to 67% since 2007. However, on balance, motorists disagree with the statement that 'people in cars could use public transport instead' - some 40% disagreeing, against 33% agreeing. This unsurprisingly polarises depending on where the motorist lives, with almost half of people living in towns agreeing with the statement against 27% of those living in a rural location.

The Government has launched a cycle scheme* to encourage people to cycle more. Employees can borrow the cost of buying the bike from their employer and then pay it back out of their pre-tax income. This means the cyclist reduces the cost of the bike, as they do not have to pay tax or National Insurance on the amount of repayments (known or National Insurance on the amount of repayments (known as salary sacrifice). At the end of the loan period, typically one year, they have the option to own the bike.

Almost one in four motorists say they are using public transport more than last year. In 2009, 69% now use the bus - with one in ten using it at least once a week - up from just 50% claiming to travel in this way in 2007. More than two thirds (67%) used the train or tube, up from just over half (56%) last year.

Males aged 17-24 are more likely to use other forms of transport such as bicycles, tubes, trains and car sharing.

* Source: www.cyclescheme.co.uk.

3.0 Motorists and the economy

2.4 How motorists drive