Recycling and taking the bus seen as simple way to tackle climate change

A survey looking at attitudes to public transport in the UK has concluded that leaving the car at home is seen as one of the key ways individuals can make a difference to the environment.

The YouGov poll, which quizzed around 8,000 adults, showed that while recycling is head and shoulders above the other contenders when it comes to making the people feel empowered on environmental issues, using public transport more was seen as the second most effective way to ‘do our bit’.

Almost 80% of respondents said they would consider recycling more, while around a third said they might use public transport more, with slightly less saying they might improve their loft insulation.

Surprisingly, more people said they would consider erecting a wind turbine at home (22%) than would think about cutting back on foreign holidays (20%).

Environmental issues were way down the list of most people’s priority problems, trumped by the state of the economy, fear of crime, the state of the NHS and Britain’s education system and levels of taxation.

Almost one in 20 people said they were not, and had never been, concerned about the environment.

The poll delved more deeply into attitudes about public transport, and found that the cost of running a car, fears about congestion and faster and more reliable buses and trains were more likely to drive people to take public transport than environmental concerns.

Air pollution and climate change were bottom of people’s list of things that might make them change their habits, trumped even by a hike in car parking fees.

The poll was commissioned by public transport provider First Group, whose chief executive Sir Moir Lockhead, said: “This poll makes clear that the public are increasingly viewing travelling by public transport as one of the most realistic ways they can do their bit to reduce our impact on the environment.

“Many people are becoming more concerned about the environment and the majority of those have switched, or plan to switch, some of their journeys from car to bus, coach and train.”

Sam Bond

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