Commuter trends revealed as Britain considers going back to the office

Commuter trends revealed as Britain considers going back to the office

The car’s the star but e-scooters and cycling are on the up as surveyed commuters consider how to decrease their carbon footprint on their travels and at home

Using a car to commute is still the go-to choice for the British working public according to a survey revealed today

Plymouth sees the highest car use of those surveyed, with 63% of residents using their vehicles for the commute. Unsurprisingly, London residents commute by public transport the most, 22% of the capital’s residents use this method to commute. Plymouth residents use public transport the least at just 3%

Cardiff residents are more likely to commute on foot, with 20% of those surveyed saying they walk to work each day. This is markedly higher than in Belfast, where just 5% of residents cite walking as their preference.

Cycling or using an e-scooter to get to work is on the rise. 14% of Norwich residents surveyed use this form of transport to get to work.

Working from home is still a popular option for the British working public, with 21% of Belfast residents surveyed still being home-based to work.

Of those commuters surveyed, 75% commute less than 10 miles to work, with 20% commuting between five and 10 miles to work each day. Pre-pandemic, 4% of those surveyed commuted more than 40 miles to work, compared to 3% in 2022.

12% of commuters travel less than a mile to their place of work, compared to 10% pre-pandemic. In environmental terms, commuting 10 miles in a mid-size petrol car creates 5kg of carbon per journey. Over a year of commuting, this equates to 1305kg of carbon emissions per car.

When comparing commuters surveyed who used their car to travel to and from work before the pandemic with today’s data, the results are stark. Before COVID-19, just 5% of those surveyed worked from home, compared to 14% in 2022.

Car use for commuters dropped, with 56% of those surveyed using their car before the pandemic and 50% using their car now.

In positive news, those walking, cycling or using an e-scooter to get to work has increased post-pandemic. 19% of the commuters surveyed cited the eco options as their choice when commuting in 2022, compared to 18% in 2020.

The use of public transport has decreased post-pandemic too, with 14% of those surveyed using a bus or train to get to work, compared to 17% in early 2020.

Taking the train to work is hugely beneficial for the environment. Swapping a motor for the train can reduce personal emissions by up to 74%.

Commuter miles by car, bus and train continue to contribute to carbon emissions in cities. 55% of those surveyed wish there was an easy way to offset their carbon emissions caused by their commute. Of those commuters surveyed, 56% said given the chance they would choose to work from home as a way to offset their carbon emissions. 47% of the British workers surveyed think those who commute by car, bus or train should invest in solar panels to offset their carbon emissions caused by commuting. Over half (51%) of those surveyed said they would be interested in buying solar panels for their home to offset their commuting carbon emissions.

Solar energy produces low emissions and is a practical way to reduce the carbon footprint of a household. A solar PV system installed in a home could reduce carbon emissions by 1.3-1.6 tonnes per year, equivalent to a medium-sized petrol car driving 3000 miles.

Simon Peat, CEO of Project Solar UK who commissioned the research, said, “Commutes have dropped in the past year and this research shows that given the choice, many of those surveyed would choose to work from home to reduce their carbon footprint through not commuting. We are witnessing a surge in interest in using solar panels in the home to help reduce carbon emissions as commuters seek out ways to look after the environment.”



More Articles


More Articles


More Videos
Watch the video

We use our own and third-party cookies to enable and improve your browsing experience on our website. If you go on surfing, we will consider you accepting its use.