Cars and van

News from Caroline Russell: 1 in 5 Londoners feel ‘forced’ to own a car

22 March 2019

19 per cent of Londoners feel they have no choice but to own a car to get around, according to new data released by Caroline Russell. [1]

The number is even higher in outer London with 25 per cent of people living in outer boroughs saying they feel ‘forced’ into owning a car. 

Outer Londoners own more cars than people who have more travel options in inner London, 55 per cent of inner Londoners said they didn’t even own a car, compared with just 33 per cent of people in the outer boroughs.

The Mayor has a new target that 80 per cent of journeys in London should be made by public transport, walking or cycling – at the moment in outer London only 60 per cent of journeys are made this way. 

Caroline Russell says:

Being forced to have the extra expense of a car because you’re left without an alternative should be an alarm bell to the Mayor who is encouraging Londoners to ditch dirty vehicles – but they need convenient and close public transport to use instead.  
“For people who feel they have no other option than to own and run a car is a sad situation. For the Mayor to reach his target for journeys made by public transport, walking or cycling – he needs to help these Londoners first.
Walking and cycling are the best ways to travel – I use a bike to get to work every day and I’d like every Londoner to have this option. Much more work needs to be done to reduce road danger and make the streets pleasant and safe for people to walk and cycle.

Outer London has the biggest potential for people choosing other ways to travel instead of their cars – the Transport Committee has continually recommended improvements to the bus network in outer London but progress is painfully slow.

Caroline Russell recently released a report, Cycling Proficiency, looking at what the Mayor has achieved for cycling in London so far. [2]

Notes to editors

[1] YouGov survey results, all figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 1,131 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 25th - 28th February 2019.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all London adults (aged 18+).


[2] Cycling Proficiency, Caroline Russell, Nov 2018

Caroline Russell was elected as a Green member of the London Assembly in May 2016. She has been an Islington councillor since 2014.

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