National Travel Survey
About the study
Getting from A to B should be simple. The National Travel Survey uncovers how the nation is getting around and what can be done to improve things.
Whether you drive, take the bus, the tube or the train, walk or even cycle - travel is a basic part of our everyday lives. Daily commute, business trip or a weekend excursion – these are all important to us personally and how the country runs as a whole. Did you know, for example, that “leisure” and “shopping” are the two most popular reasons for travel in England?
The National Travel Survey is the Department for Transport’s main source of information about how we get around the country. They use it to plan major policy changes. This could be anything from investment in the railways to building new roads.
This year we will select 25,000 households to take part in this study about how, why, where and how far people travel. The National Travel Survey has been running since 1965, so it’s a unique source of data that shows us how our travel patterns have changed.
Why take part?
A little time to make a big difference
It’s easy to say no to our interviewers, but we hope you don’t. We know your time is precious, but our work really does make a difference. No special knowledge is needed, and you will be helping policy makers and charities to make the right decisions about the big issues.
The interview will be conducted by a specially trained NatCen interviewer at a time that is convenient for you. We are flexible about when you take part.
How the National Travel Survey makes a difference
The National Travel Survey is the only national source of reliable, up-to-date information about how, why, where and how far people travel. The Department for Transport uses it to try to make sure we can get around easily, now and in the future.
It’s been used to understand many issues, like how children get to and from school, and to predict future traffic levels. Information like this can help cut congestion and improve the national travel network, whether you travel by car, on public transport, or on foot.
Not just helping government
All the results of the National Travel Survey are public. This means that they are used by universities, businesses, and campaigning organisations representing everyone from motorists, cyclists, motorcyclists, the elderly, rural communities and children. Please be reassured however that the results collected are used for statistical purposes only and will not identify you or your family.
Why have I been chosen?
Why you’re so important to us
We have chosen your address at random from a public list of all addresses in England, kept by the Post Office. This is to make sure that the survey represents the whole country and we get a true picture of everyone’s views and travel habits. Your address can’t be replaced by another one, as this would bias the results.
We want to hear from everyone
It’s really important that the survey represents the views of everyone living in England. Whether you’re living in Land’s End or Berwick-upon-Tweed, we value your opinion. We need information from a wide range of people including those both in or out of work, children, young people and the elderly.
Whoever you are, whatever you think, your opinion is important to us. Taking part is an opportunity to tell policy makers and charities what you really think.
If you have recently received a letter asking you to take part, one of our interviewers will visit you in the next week or so.
So you know who they are, all of our interviewers carry photo ID with our logo on it. We understand that you may be busy, so we’ll organise the interview at a time and place that suits you.
Your interviewer will ask you about a range of transport related topics including your views and experiences. The interview covers everyone in your family.
No need to prepare
There’s no need to prepare for the interview - we would simply like to hear about your recent travel, your views and your opinions. Most people agree to be interviewed and enjoy taking part.
What we've found out
To find out more how our travel habits, and how they have changed over the years, visit the Department for Transport website.
Our pledge to you
We respect your wishes
Taking part is voluntary and you do not have to answer any questions you don’t want to. Just let your interviewer know and they will move on to the next question.
We answer your questions
Your interviewer will be happy to answer any questions you have about the study which aren’t covered here.
We ensure your safety
All our interviewers carry photographic ID cards and have been checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly the Criminal Records Bureau). We welcome any feedback you have about your experience with our interviewers. Our interviewers are trained in COVID-19 safety measures and adhere to strict procedures. A leaflet with more information about this will have been provided with your initial letter.
We guard your privacy
We will treat the information you give us in the strictest confidence under current data protection legislation. The results collected are used for statistical purposes only and will not identify you or your family. You will never receive any junk mail as a result of speaking to us. Your name and address will not be passed to anyone outside the National Centre for Social Research without your permission, and we never pass on your details to other organisations for commercial purposes.
If you’ve any questions at all, you can get in touch with us by phone or by email.
You can contact a member of the National Travel Survey team using the free phone number 0800 652 4568.
Alternatively, send your enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.