Different modes of transport
We have so far established that three in four members of the British public believe that climate change is both real and caused by humans, and that most of these 'believers' are also concerned about the impact of transport on climate change. Our next step is to consider how the public perceives the impact of specific modes of transport.
British Social Attitudes regularly asks respondents to what extent they agree or disagree that:
The current level of car use has a serious effect on climate change
The current level of air travel has a serious effect on climate change
Table 4.4 shows how the proportions of those agreeing with these two statements have changed between 2005 and 2011. Two key points emerge. Firstly, after peaking in 2006, concern about the impact of both modes of transport has declined considerably: by 14 percentage points for cars and 10 percentage points for air travel. Particularly large falls were seen between 2009 and 2010. Second, the downward trend in concern about car use appears to have stabilised, posting a modest one percentage point increase on last year, while the decline in concern about air travel has slowed. Even so, the proportion of those agreeing that air travel has a serious effect on climate change (64 per cent) is at the same level as when we first asked the question - the lowest in the time series.
- Download chapter
- Speech by David Cameron at Department of Energy and Climate Change, www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/pn10_059/pn10_059.aspx
- This question does not ask specifically about car use, but is placed with other questions about road transport.
- It has previously been noted that those most concerned about the environment can often themselves be the most frequent flyers (Commission for Integrated Transport, 2007).
- Transport policy in Scotland is devolved so this would only apply in England and Wales.
- The multivariate analysis technique used was logistic regression - more details of the methods used can be found in the Technical details chapter of this report. Further details of the analysis results are available from the authors on request.
- Related links