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Transport trends
There have been huge changes to how we travel over the last 70 years, with implications for our health and for health inequalities.

Key stats

is the average distance travelled per person in Great Britain in 2019, up from 4,400km in 1952.
is how much bus fares have increased since 2015, compared to 15% for underground and 27% for rail.
of the poorest fifth of households did not have access to a car in 2019/20, compared to just 8% of the richest fifth of households.

There have been huge changes to how we travel over the last 70 years. The average annual distance people in Britain travel is now three times further than it was in 1952, largely due to a tenfold increase in the distance travelled by car. Over the same period, the average distance travelled by bus annually has decreased from 1,900km to 600km per person.

The growth in car ownership has revolutionised people’s lives in the UK. But these benefits have not been shared equally across society, with access especially low among young adults and low-income families. Car-centric policies can lead to underinvestment in other forms of transport and reduced options for people without a car.

The charts in this section explore trends and inequalities in transport use and provision.

Trends and inequalities in transport usage and provision

Explore other subtopics within Transport
Active travel
This relates to walking and cycling as part of routine travel – whether for an entire journey, part of one, or to access public transport
Social exclusion
This relates to the role of transport in providing access to services and social participation

Explore the topics

Health inequalities

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Neighbourhoods and surroundings

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Family, friends and community

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This is part of Evidence hub: What drives health inequalities?

Data, insights and analysis exploring how the circumstances in which we live shape our health
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