Drivetime analysis potentially helps destination garden centres

The Independent Transport Commission (ITC) has found people are making fewer driving trips but are driving further and for longer, on average.

The demographics of people who are driving more match garden centre visitor demographics, leading to suggestions that the trends are helping drive fotfall in destination garde centres.

The new ITC Recent Trends in Road and Rail Travel 1995-2014 report found men under 35 are the most likely to not drive as much, while women over 60 are driving more. Young men (under 35) car driver miles almost halved between 1996 and 2014 (to about 3,700), while for women over 60, car driver miles more than doubled over the same period (to about 1,800).

The number of trips English residents are making fell by 15 per cent between 1995 and 2014. But the average trip distance increased by 10 per cent and the average trip time by almost 15 per cent.

For the richest income quintile, car driver miles fell by 10 per cent between 1996 and 2014 (to about 4,500). For the poorest quintile, miles driven rose by almost 20 per cent (to about 1,200).

In London the fall in car distance travelled per person was down by almost a third in outer London, and by more than half for inner London.

One of the authors, Dr Matthew Niblett, director of the ITC, says: "This report uncovers seismic shifts in patterns of individual travel behaviour.

"We are seeing that the historic correlations between incomes, costs and travel are weakening. An inter-generational divide in travel behaviour is growing.

"For young adults, cars are increasingly viewed as utilitarian appliances, rather than aspirational goods. And there are also growing differences in travel patterns between rural and urban areas."

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