Blog - August 2010
The Department for Transport has published the results of the National Travel Survey for 2009. The summary states: 'There has been a steady falling trend in trip rates since 1995/97, while average distance travelled per person per year remained relatively stable until 2007, then has declined slightly over the last two years.'
My own take is that since the mid 1990's, personal daily travel has remainded broadly steady - 1000 journeys totalling 7000 miles a year on average, involving about an hour a day of travel time. The latest figures are slightly down, at 973 trips and 6775 miles, probably reflecting the economic recession with commuting trips lower somewhat (147 against 168 five years before). As the economy revives, I would expect to see a return to the flat trend of the past decade and more.
The big picture is that personal daily travel seems to have uncoupled from GDP growth, a break with the trend that started in the early 19th century as modern transport technologies were developed.