British residents are travelling further each year and doing more of it in cars, according to statistics released yesterday which confirm once more the scale of a problem of unsustainable trends in transport being faced across the continent. Covering the period 1996-98, the latest update of the UK government's national travel survey shows that the average British resident is travelling 6,728 miles per year, which is up 27% since 1985/86. The rise is attributed mainly to an increase in the average distance of car journeys from 5.2 to 6.4 miles. Car travel now accounts for four-fifths of the total distance travelled by Britons, according to the report, while walking has fallen to just under 3% of the total distance travelled. The survey also reports that the proportion of primary school aged children walking to school has declined from 67% to 55% over the last decade, with a corresponding increase in the number being taken by car from 22% to 36%. The proportion of households without access to a car has fallen from 38% a decade ago to 30% in 1996-98. The survey is based on diaries kept by 6,900 households.
UK environment ministry, tel: +44 171 890 3000. References: "National Travel Survey: 1996/98 Update". Further information available from firstname.lastname@example.org
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