People would rely less on their vehicles if public transport was improved in Ireland, according to a new survey.
The Automobile Association Ireland surveyed over 4,200 motorists and found that 87pc of motorists think there is a “huge difference” between public transport options in rural and urban areas.
Results show that 80pc of respondents think people would leave their car at home more regularly if public transport was improved.
Of those surveyed, 42pc said they live in a rural area, while 59pc said they live in an urban area.
When asked in the poll if they have access to public transport in their area, 47pc said “yes in an urban area”, 8pc said “yes in a rural area” while 16pc said they do not have access.
Some 9pc of respondents said they only have access to public transport in a rural area if they drive there in a car first, and 6pc said it is unreliable.
Meanwhile 26pc said more funding is needed for public transport, 40pc said infrastructure needs to be improved, 30pc said cheaper fares need to be introduced, while 36pc said more services need to be added.
The head of communications at the AA, Paddy Comyn, said it is “evident that there’s a huge difference” between public transport options in rural and urban areas.
“High fuel prices are causing stress for people who rely solely on their cars. An improvement to public transport infrastructure, extra services, cheaper fares, that's what people want to see. If the alternatives are there, people will move away from their cars,” he said.
“With Covid-19 still an issue, there appears to still be many people hesitant to use public transport for this reason, and with many people now working in a hybrid way, traffic volumes are now lower than before the start of the pandemic.”
According to the latest CSO figures, traffic volumes in Dublin are down 12pc, while rural traffic volumes are down 8pc on pre-pandemic levels. Public transport journeys also remain below pre-pandemic levels.
The number of bus journeys in Dublin for the week beginning July 25 was 78pc of the level in the week beginning March 2, 2020. This is compared with 87pc for bus journeys outside Dublin and 82pc for rail journeys.