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National Travel Survey



The National Travel Survey is used by the Government to develop its transport policy and make sure transport plans meet England's travel needs.

We conduct the National Travel Survey every year. It is the only national source of information on where, why, how and how far people travel. 



The lastest National Travel Survey report was published in September 2016.

The results paint the following picture of the changes in the nation's travel habits over the past half-century:

How often people travel

On average, each person made 914 trips in 2015 - the lowest trip record recorded. Trip rates have been falling steadily since 1995/97. The fall in number of trips over the last decade is largely accounted for by a fall in walking.

How people travel

Car journeys are by far the most common form of transport. Car journeys account for 64% of trips and 78% of the distance travelled in 2015.

Why people travel

Shopping and personal business are the most common trip purposes, accounting for almost 1 in 5 trips.

Who is travelling

On average women make more trips than men, but men travel 20% further. This is mostly due to men doing more commuting mileage.   



  • Each year we select a sample of 13,000 household addresses in England. This sample is scientifically chosen to represent the wider population.
  • Everyone living in England has an equal chance of being asked to take part in the survey.
  • We ask everyone living in these households if they will be interviewed and keep a travel diary for one week.
  • We find out what types of transport they use, why they make the trips they do and how they go to work, school and to the shops,
  • The information gathered is then used to help create a national picture of how people travel.

Latest report

View all reports and datasets