Personal Transport Footprint

This component covers all modes of personal travel by South West residents in 2001. Freight and commercial transport was not included as it was accounted for in the materials and waste footprint. The calculation of a personal transport ecological footprint takes into consideration the energy required for manufacturing, maintenance and fuel for different modes of transport, such as cars, aeroplanes and trains. The personal transport ecological footprint for a South West resident in 2001 was 2.6 million gha (0.53 gha per person), and accounted for 10% of the total ecological footprint of the region. Table 8 shows a breakdown of the personal transport ecological footprint, by mode.

The largest component was car travel, which accounted for 79% of the personal transport ecological footprint and 85% of the distance travelled. Air travel had the second largest ecological footprint at 15%, although it was only 5% of the distance travelled. The air travel ecological footprint is high due to the energy input required for flying, particularly at take-off and landing.

Table 8
Personal transport ecological footprint of a South West resident, by mode, in 2001
Transport mode Distance travelled per person (pass-km) % of distance travelled per person Per person ecological footprint (gha) % of total personal transport ecological footprint
Total personal transport 11,416 100% 0.53 100%
of which…  
Car 9,664 85% 0.42 79%
Bus & coach 253 2% <0.01 1%
Rail 413 4% 0.01 2%
Waterborne 139 1% 0.02 3%
Air* 514 5% 0.08 15%
Motorbike 81 1% <0.01 1%
Walking & cycling 352 3% <0.01 <1%
* Data for air travel was an estimate of flights by residents. Visitor travel is excluded. Air travel data is proxied against UK average 1999 data.
Since 1999, air travel has increased significantly and data collection has improved. This new data is analysed in 'Additional Information'. 1999 data was used in this study to enable comparisons with other studies.
Note: Totals may differ due to rounding.
Sources: DfT, 2002a, Espineira & Haslam, 2002; Pathan, 2004 and Salathiel, 2003