EC Survey finds majority of Europeans willing to compromise on performance, size, range and price to reduce vehicle emissions; 53% say they use car as main mode of transport
|Willingness to compromise on different characteristics. Click to enlarge.|
A survey conducted by Euro-barometer for the European Commission of nearly 26,000 people in all 27 EU member states found that most Europeans are willing to compromise on performance, size, range and price of their car in order to reduce harmful emissions.
About two-thirds (68%) of EU citizens said they would compromise on a car’s speed in order to reduce emissions; 62% would be likely to compromise on the car’s size and 56% said the same about the car’s range. EU citizens were the least likely (54%) to say that they would be willing to compromise on purchase price (i.e. they would not pay more).
Cyprus, Luxembourg, Greece and France were the countries where the largest proportions of respondents were willing to compromise on a car’s speed, size and range, when making a purchase, in order to reduce emissions. The same was true for price, in the first three countries, but the French were much less likely to be willing to buy a “clean” car if it was more expensive.
After controlling for the different levels of “don’t know” responses, it was noted that men and the self-employed would be somewhat less likely to compromise on a car’s speed, price or range in order to be able to buy a “cleaner” car. Similarly, 15-24 year-olds would be less willing than their older counterparts to compromise on a car’s speed or range.
Main modes of transport. A slim majority (53%) of EU citizens said they used a car as their main mode of transport and about one in five (22%) used public transport. Walking was mentioned by 13% of EU citizens and 7% selected cycling. The least popular choice was a motorbike, mentioned by 2%.
Men were more likely to say that they used a car to get around on a daily basis (59% vs. 47% of women). Women more frequently said they usually walked (16% vs. 9% of men) or used public transport (25% vs. 18%).
Almost two-thirds (64%) of rural residents said that they used a car to get about on a day-to-day basis; metropolitan residents, on the other hand, were almost as likely to mention public transport as they were to say they used a car as their main mode of transport (37% vs. 43%).
Level of support for pay-as-you-drive schemes. Half of EU citizens said they would agree with existing car charges being replaced by new pay-as-you-drive schemes; almost a sixth (16%) of respondents agreed strongly with such a proposal. About 3 in 10 respondents disagreed with this suggestion and a fifth were unable or unwilling to say whether they would support pay-as-you-drive schemes. Car users were more likely to disagree with the replacement of existing car charges by pay-as-you-drive schemes (37% vs. 24% of public transport users).
The highest level of support for such schemes existed in Luxembourg (71%), Italy (68%), the Netherlands (64%), Cyprus (61%) and Belgium (60%).
Reasons why car users don’t use public transport. A large majority (71%) of car users felt that public transport was not as convenient as a car, a similar proportion (72%) said that a lack of connections was a problem, about two-thirds (64%) mentioned a low frequency of services and 54% said they did not use public transport because it was not reliable. Half (49%) of car users said public transport was too expensive and a similar proportion (49%) stressed a lack of information about schedules. Security concerns were considered as an important reason not to use public transport by 40% of car users.
In a majority of countries (19 out of 27), about three-quarters or more of car users felt that public transport was not as convenient as a car. In all Member States, at least half of car users said that they did not use public transport because of a lack of connections.
Cyprus, Malta, Poland, Bulgaria and the UK were the countries most frequently featuring at the top end of the distributions, i.e. car users describing multiple numbers of reasons why they did not use public transport.
Opinions about a single ticket covering all means of public transport. One in two EU citizens said they would definitely consider using public transport more frequently if they could buy a single ticket for their complete journey that covered bus, train or tram, etc. A quarter would not use public transport more frequently even if such a single ticket was available.
Across the EU, about 3 in 10 car users compared to 11% of public transport users said they would not consider using public transport more frequently, even if a single ticket for all means of such transport was made available.
In Spain, Cyprus and Greece, more than 6 in 10 car users said they would definitely consider using public transport more frequently if they could buy a single ticket for their whole journey.
Ideas to encourage car users to combine different modes of transport. Roughly two-thirds (65%) of car users thought they would be more liable to combine different modes of transport if they could transfer easily from one transport mode to another; more attractive terminals would be an encouragement for just under half (47%) of car users.
About half (52%) of car users said that better (online) information about schedules would encourage them to combine different modes of transport instead of using their car, and 38% would be more likely to do this if it would be possible to buy tickets online.
Greece, Malta, Cyprus, Spain and Ireland tended to be the countries where the largest proportions of respondents said they would be encouraged to combine different modes of transport and reduce their use of a car if various suggestions were implemented (easy transfers, online information etc.).
These results are a great boost to the EU’s efforts to make transport more sustainable. It shows people understand the stakes and are willing to do their bit to reduce their impact on the environment. Smart initiatives such as pay-as-you-drive schemes and a single ticket covering all possible transport modes make use of the latest technology and enable people to make a well-informed choice about how they choose to travel.—Siim Kallas, the Commissioner responsible for transport and EC Vice-President
Eurobarometer. Eurobarometers are ad hoc thematical telephone interviews conducted at the request of any service of the European Commission. Flash surveys enable the Commission to obtain results relatively quickly and to focus on specific target groups, as and when required.
This Flash Eurobarometer—“Future of transport” (No 312)—was conducted at the request of Directorate General Mobility and Transport in the 27 EU Member States. Initially the survey examined the current means of transport that EU citizens used to get around on a daily basis. These ranged from a car or motorbike, to public transport, cycling and walking. The survey then looked at various transport policy issues and asked EU citizens for their views.
The survey obtained interviews predominantly through fixed-line telephone, with nationally representative samples of EU citizens (aged 15 and older) living in the 27 Member States. The target sample size in most countries was 1,000 interviews, but in Cyprus, Luxembourg and Malta the sample size was 500 interviews; in total, 25,570 interviews were conducted by Gallup’s network of fieldwork organizations from 15-19 October 2010. Statistical results were weighted to correct for known demographic discrepancies.
“Future of transport”; Eurobarometer 312