Residents in the South West travelled an estimated 56.3 billion passenger kilometres (pass-km) in 2001. In other words, South West residents travel an average of 11,416 kilometres per year. The most common mode of transport used was the car, 82% of total travel (51% as drivers and 31% as passengers). Table 14 provides a breakdown of travel by South West residents, by mode and per capita, in 2001.

Table 14
Travel by South West residents, by mode and per person, in 2001
Mode Pass-km ('000s) Pass-km per person % of total pass-km
Total passenger kilometres 56,324,611 11,416 100%
of which…  
Car driver 28,577,090 5,792 51%
Car passenger 17,675,077 3,582 31%
Air * 2,536,695 514 5%
Rail 2,036,368 413 4%
Walking 1,413,371 286 3%
Local bus 1,248,977 253 2%
Other private ** 1,105,975 224 2%
Waterborne 684,834 139 1%
Motorcycle 397,811 81 1%
Bicycle 325,552 66 1%
Taxi or minicab 322,860 65 1%
* This air figure was calculated by proxying 1999 UK data in order to maintain comparability with previous resource flow studies carried out by Best Foot Forward. However, since 1999, UK residents have increased their travel by air, and the Department for Transport (DfT) have improved their data collection, as a result in 2001 data shows that air travel associated with the South West has more than doubled on the 1999 figures.
** Other private vehicles include vans and caravans.
Note: Totals may differ due to rounding.
Sources: DfT, 2002a; Espineira & Haslam, 2002; Pathan, 2004 and Salathiel, 2003

In comparison with national travel trends, South West residents travel less by bus (253 pass-km per person) and rail (413 pass-km per person) than the average English passenger, who travels 377 and 723 pass-km respectively. This trend is likely to be a reflection of geographic nature of the South West, where towns and villages are more isolated and public transport is limited.

Trips for leisure and commuting to work are the two main reasons for travelling, representing 39% and 29% respectively of all personal transport in the South West. 70% of commuter trips to work were done by car, followed by rail at 12%. Although travel to school was less significant than other purposes, it was dominated by car use, at 55% of all modes used.

Figure 8 summarises travel in the South West by purpose and mode, in 2001.

Figure 8
Travel in the South West, by purpose and mode, in 2001


* Other personal business includes, for example trips to the doctor, bank, hairdresser or library or providing lifts for friends and family.
** Other includes taking a walk for relaxation or having a driving lesson.
Note: Totals may differ due to rounding.
Note: Excludes air travel.

Sources: DfT, 2002a; Espineira & Haslam 2002; Pathan, 2004; Salathiel, 2003.