On the path to net zero: what do transport users think?

05 August 2021

What do transport users think about sustainability and how can they help to reduce carbon emissions through their transport use?

Transport Focus’s latest report, The journey towards sustainable travel, looks at what people think about sustainability right now and how governments’ plans to decarbonise transport can be implemented.

Over the course of three weeks in March 2021, we spoke to 80 people from across Great Britain, using online focus groups and an online community, to explore their attitudes, behaviours and future intentions.

This report is a summary of the main conclusions and sets the scene for our future work. It is just the first step in our work on decarbonisation and sustainability in transport. As the user representative, we are well-placed and keen to assist in helping improvements to be made.

Transport Focus wants to play a leading role in how behaviour change can be encouraged so that people can more easily choose more sustainable forms of transport.

Key findings from this research:

  • transport users see sustainability as a vague concept that is hard to act on outside of key issues like recycling and green energy
  • within the sustainability conversation, transport doesn’t immediately come into people’s minds and isn’t a key driver when making decisions on how to travel
  • people see sustainable transport as expensive and inconvenient but also recognise it could result in better air quality and fewer cars on roads
  • there are no easy wins, so improving sustainability in transport will require a combination of interventions at a personal, social, and government and industry level.

As we come out of Covid-19 and people start their own ‘new normals’ we will be looking at these issues in more detail to try to understand what is needed to support consumers to change behaviour.

In addition to helping make public transport more attractive, we are planning new mode specific work such as a survey on the experience of electric vehicle recharging on motorways and major ‘A’ roads.

Contact us if you would talk about this research in more detail and our upcoming work on sustainable travel.

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