By interviewing people continuously throughout the year we’re able to indentify long term trends in travel behaviour; critical information for the Department for Transport when they’re planning transport policy and infrastructure.
Travel behaviour is subject to seasonal and weekly fluctuations; people travel differently in the summer holiday months, and of course, journeys to and from work or school normally take place on weekdays.
If we only conducted the National Travel Survey at certain times of the year, we’d risk over or underestimating certain types of travel.
We take great pains to make sure that the survey gives an accurate representation of how, why and where Britain is travelling, regardless of seasonal differences.
Our interviewers speak to a new sample of the population each month, with the same number of addresses being assigned to each month of the year.
We also ask people to fill in a seven-day travel diary, and the dates covered by these weeks are spread across all 365 days of the year.