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IP/11/360

Brussels, 24 March 2011

Majority of Europeans embrace green travel

Most Europeans are willing to compromise on the price and the features of their car in order to reduce harmful emissions, a new survey has revealed. A Eurobarometer survey conducted in all 27 European Union Member States showed that, for instance, about two-thirds of EU car users said it was likely they would compromise on a car's speed in order to reduce emissions. In addition, the majority of motorists (53%) agreed with existing car charges being replaced by new charging schemes based on the actual use of their vehicle. While most users choose to drive a car because of its convenience, nearly three quarters of EU citizens (71%) said they would consider using public transport more frequently if it would be possible to buy a single ticket covering all transport modes.

Vice-President Siim Kallas, Commissioner responsible for transport, said: "These results are a great boost to the EU's efforts to make transport more sustainable. It shows people understand the stakes and are willing to do their bit to reduce their impact on the environment. Smart initiatives such as pay-as-you-drive schemes and a single ticket covering all possible transport modes make use of the latest technology and enable people to make a well-informed choice about how they choose to travel."

Compromises to be made in order to make driving greener

The majority of car users (66%) surveyed said they would be likely to compromise on the car’s size in order to reduce emissions and 62% said the same about the car’s range – i.e. the distance that one could drive before needing to refuel or recharge the vehicle. More than half of people (60%) would also be willing to pay more for their car if it helped to reduce emissions.

Support for charging schemes based on actual car use

Half of EU citizens said they would agree with existing car charges being replaced by new charging schemes that took into account a car’s actual use. These schemes were even more popular among car drivers as 53% agreed with existing car charges being replaced.

Reasons for choosing a car

A large majority (71%) of car users felt that public transport was not as convenient as driving. A similar proportion (72%) of motorists said that a lack of connections stopped them using public transport (49% highlighted this as a "very important" factor). A low frequency of services was considered important by 64% of car users and 54% emphasised the unreliability of public transport.

Encouraging motorists to combine other modes of transport

People who use their car on a daily basis were asked what it would take for them to also use other modes of transport. Roughly two-thirds (65%) said they would consider it if it was easier to change from one mode of transport to another, 52% would be tempted if there was better (online) information about schedules, 47% would consider it if terminals were more attractive, and 38% if it was possible to buy tickets online.

Strong interest in single ticket covering all means of transport

Nearly three quarters of EU citizens (71%) say they would consider using public transport more frequently if it were possible to buy a single ticket covering all possible modes of public transport; there is also strong support for this among motorists (66%).

The survey was conducted among 25,570 people in all 27 Member States at the request of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport.


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