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How we get around: Annual travel survey results out

Estimated read time: 3 mins

Carrie Tennick, July 31, 2019

We are making fewer trips on a day-to-day basis than we did a decade ago – and significantly fewer than in 2002.

This is according to the government’s National Travel Survey 2018.

On average, UK residents made 986 trips – using all modes of transport – in 2018, compared to 1,014 in 2008 and 1,074 in 2002, when the original survey sample was trebled.

How long are we travelling for?

In 2018, our longest trips were our commutes, which have steadily increased in length since data started being collected in 1995/97. We spent an average of 30 minutes getting to work last year, compared to 28 minutes in 2008 and just 24 in 1995/97.

Further travel for business reasons – meetings, conferences and other events – took us 41 minutes last year. We spent the same amount of time for this purpose in 2008 and 37 minutes getting to these events in 1995/97.

Travelling to our holiday bases took us an average of 77 minutes in 2018, which is slightly less than the 79 minutes we spent doing so in 1995/97 and a little more than the 73 minutes it took a decade ago.

Our shortest trips were spent taking the kids to school. It took us an average of 13 minutes to drop them off in 2018, a broadly similar figure from previous years. It was the same in 2008 and 11 minutes in 1995/97.

How are we getting around?

Our most common mode of transport was still the car – or van. We made an average of 395 trips driving these vehicles and around 207 as passengers last year. Amid rising petrol prices and increased awareness of environmental damage, this was fewer than many previous years.

In 2002, we made 438 trips as drivers and 240 as passengers, while 2008 saw us make 410 trips behind the wheel and 226 being driven.

Motorcycles proved to be our least preferred mode of transport, with just two trips made on average by survey respondents in 2018. In both 2002 and 2008, we made 4 trips on average, perhaps reflecting how the motorcycle is falling out of favour.

Meanwhile, walking remained popular. We walked 262 times in 2018, compared to 264 in 2002 and 242 a decade ago. Longer walks – those of over a mile – held less appeal to us in 2018 than previous years, though. We got out for an average of 64 longer walks last year, compared to 75 in 2002 and 73 in 2008.

When are we on the move?

Perhaps unsurprisingly to anyone who’s been on the roads at rush hour, the survey found that between 8am and 9am on Monday to Friday was the busiest, with 292 trips made. Likely coinciding with the school pickup, between 3pm and 4pm was the second busiest, with 267 journeys taken.

Traffic steadily subsided from 4pm, dropping to 112 trips made between 7pm and 8pm and 63 the following hour. This was generally more than the number of trips taken at these times the previous year. The hour between 8am and 9am saw 287 trips in 2017, while 255 were made between 3pm and 4pm.

We’re most stationary at 2am to 3am on weekdays, with just one trip made on average. This is compared to two journeys made at that time on Saturdays and three on Sundays.

If you’ve suffered a road traffic accident while commuting, taking your kids to school or for any other reason, First4Lawyers could help you make a personal injury claim. We could help you claim the compensation you’re entitled to.

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