Does the generation you were born in influence your travel behaviours?

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A new study into the travel behaviours of the British public has shown some real differences between generations, seeing historic correlations between incomes, costs and travels weakening.

Dr Matthew Niblett, director of the Independent Travel Commission, who conducted the survey, says “For young adults, cars are increasingly viewed as utilitarian appliances, rather than aspirational goods. And there are also growing differences in travel patterns between rural and urban areas. An inter-generational divide in travel behaviour is growing.”

We agree. If you can share, there’s less need to own.

So what were the findings?

Age differences

The ITC research has shown that younger people are increasingly making their journeys in other ways than driving themselves. Men under 35 are most likely to do without a car (miles within this demographic have almost halved since 1996), whereas women aged over 60 are driving more than ever (with miles almost doubling). As Dr Nibbert mentioned, this is seen partly as the requirement for ownership is felt less by younger generations.

This is an interesting conclusion to tie with Liftshare’s member base – where we see an approximate 51%-49% split of female-male members, with a varied age demographic.

Less trips, more distance

The British public overall are making fewer trips than they did 20 years ago, but when they do travel, they’re going further. The number of trips made has fallen by 15%, but the average trip distance (by all modes of transport) has increased by 15%!

More of us travelling by train

So if people are driving less, what are they replacing it with? Well, despite fares going up by 25% since 1995, the average rail mileage per person is rising sharply. However, it seems that this is due to a greater percentage of the population travelling by train, rather than people actually travelling further.

Income influencing transport

Those with the highest incomes drive more (c3,700 miles per person), despite miles falling, but those in lower income brackets are driving more. (c1,200 miles pp, an increase of almost 20%!).

You can read the whole report on the ITC’s website.

Do your travel habits fit into the findings? Or are you an exception to the rule? Let us know in the comments below!

Author Lex Barber

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