Car still beats public transport in morning commute race

18th June 2018

Photo: pcruciatti/iStock

Commuters in cars beat those on public transport into city centres by at least half an hour, according to analysis by the AA.

For the UK overall, a morning city-centre commute by public transport takes an average of 117.76 minutes, but just 82.20 minutes by car; a saving of 35.56 minutes.

Motorists in the south-east face some of the worst road congestion in the country, but they still managed to cut an average of 39.79 minutes off a rush-hour trip into a city, compared to colleagues on public transport.

A morning peak-time trip from doorstep to city centre destination averages at 125.98 minutes by public transport in the South East. In a car, commuters complete the same trip in 86.19 minutes.

These numbers emerged in a recent report from the Department for Transport, adding further embarrassment for Britain’s increasingly inadequate public transport services.

Commuters in the north-ast enjoy the swiftest public transport, averaging 100.86 minutes. However, motorists are still significantly quicker with an average trip of 64.67 minutes, saving 36.18 minutes.

Public transport beat driving in just one region in the whole of the UK – Torridge in Devon – clocking 81.74 minutes to the car’s 95.51 minutes, saving 13.78 minutes.

‘Car remains king’

Edmund King, the AA’s president, said the figures explain why some car commuters are reluctant to swap their vehicles for public transport.

“For commuters wanting to enjoy more time in the day outside work, or spend longer with the kids and family and be more in control of their travel, the car remains king,” he commented.

“As the railways are struggling to implement new timetables, the roads are also struggling with record numbers of potholes which are causing damage and injuries.”

According to the National Travel Survey, cars account for 62 per cent of trips and 78 per cent of distance travelled in the UK.

Ellie Baker, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, comments: “Public transport needs to become cheaper, more reliable and quicker if it has any hope of getting commuters out of their cars.”

Subscribe to our newsletter here