Car ownership on the increase

New figures have shown that Britons are increasingly reliant on cars as their main means of transport, with more people owning cars than ever before.

The Department for Transport (DfT) statistics revealed that, between 1995/97 and 2007, the proportion of households in Britain without access to a car fell from 30% to 25%. At the same time, the proportion of households with two or more cars has risen from 25% to 32%.

The survey of 8,400 households also revealed that the proportion of male drivers has remained relatively stable, at around 80%, but has increased among women - from 57% to 63%.

Respondents were also asked about patterns of public transport use, with 28% saying they had used a bus at least once a week during 2007, compared with 10% who took a taxi and 7% who travelled on a train.

The age groups most likely to use a bus were the under-30s and over-60s, while 17 to 29-year-olds were most likely to use taxis or to let the train take the strain.

Adrian Tink, RAC's Motoring Strategist said: "These figures tell us what we already know - that there are more cars and more drivers on the road and that economically the car has never been so affordable or accessible as it has been over the last 10 years.

"But the concern for motorists will be the next 10 years - with the continuing threat of high fuel prices, increased taxation and fears over the 2nd hand car market - will they be priced off the roads?"

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