National Travel Survey

The only annual survey to look at how, why, when and where we travel.
UK motorway

About the 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 latest National Travel Survey report was published in August 2023 by the Department for Transport. 

How often people travel

People in England made 862 trips on average in 2022, about 17 trips per week each. This was an increase of 14% compared to 2021, but remained a decrease of 10% compared to 2019 (953 trips on average).

How far people travel

The average distance travelled in 2022 was 5,373 miles, a 24% increase compared to 2021 (4,329 miles on average) but a decrease of 17% compared to 2019 (6,500 miles on average). It serves to highlight the trend in distance travelled by people, which has been in decline since 2002.

Time people spent travelling

On average, in 2022 people spent 324 hours travelling, an increase of 19% compared to 2021 (273 hours on average) but a 12% decrease compared to 2019 (370 hours on average). 

How people travel

In 2022, there were increases in trip rates amongst all transport modes compared to 2021, apart from cycling and London Underground trips which remained broadly similar. Trip rates for all transport modes were however still lower than 2019 (pre-pandemic) apart from walking trips, which saw an increase of 7% with 267 walking trips per person.

Children aged 0 to 16 made the highest proportion of trips using active transport modes such as walking and cycling in 2022 with 42%, an increase since 2021 with 38%. Those aged 17 to 20 made the smallest proportion of trips using active modes with 28%. 

There were 15 cycling trips per person in 2022, which is similar to 2021 (15 trips per person) and 5% lower compared to 2019 (16 trips per person).

Why people travel

The most common trip purpose in 2022 was shopping with 151 trips per person, with a 14% increase compared to 2021, but a decrease of 16% compared to 2019. Commuting was the second most common trip purpose in 2022 with 119 trips per person, with a 19% increase compared to 2021 but a 15% decrease compared to 2019. This could reflect the increase in working from home and hybrid working during this time.

Average trips for all purposes increased compared to 2021 apart from day trips and other including just walk trips which decreased further compared to their all-time high in 2020.


  • 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.
  • A number of changes which were introduced to the methodology in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic were retained for the first quarter of 2022. Initially interviews were completed over the phone with the interviewer populating the diary on behalf of the respondent. However face-to-face interviewing resumed in April 2022 with respondents completing the travel diary themselves. A phone back-up option was retained to ensure people with concerns about in-home interviewing were able to participate.

Click on the links below to read the full report and the technical report.