Work travel statistics revealedMon, 02 Dec 2013
MORE THAN THREE in five people get to work by car or van, with motorised journeys most popular in Wales, according to figures highlighted by the RAC Foundation.
While only 29.8% of Londoners reach offices and workplaces by car or van, the figure for Welsh workers is as high as 74.2%.
The East Midlands (71.7%) and the West Midlands (71.1%) also have an above-average number of workers who commute by car or van, with the overall average for England and Wales being 62.7%.
The figures, for those in employment in England and Wales aged 16-74, are based on data from the 2011 Census as well as from the Office for National Statistics' national travel survey data.
The figures relate to those who are passengers in cars and vans as well as those who drive them.
Londoners make up comfortably the largest percentage of workers (22.6%) who use the Tube or metro or light railway systems to and from work.
Londoners also have the highest number (13.3%) commuting by mainline train and the highest number (4%) bicycling to work.
South west England has the highest proportion (7%) who work from home and also the highest number (13.6%) who walk to work.
The workers using the train to get to work the least are those from north east England (1.2%), while this area shares with north west England the distinction of having the highest number (0.8%) who can afford to take taxis to work.
The RAC foundation said the average length of a commuter trip by car or van is highest in south east England (11.2 miles) and lowest in London (8.6 miles).
RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister said: "When it comes to commuting there's life inside the M25 and life outside it.
"In the capital, public transport is a real alternative to the car as a method of getting to work. But take London out of the equation and the level of car dependency in England and Wales is huge, not just in rural areas but also urban ones."
He went on: "The coalition Government has rightly prioritised efforts to get the nation working, but Westminster politicians must remember how the nation actually travels to work.
"People are still driving despite a decade in which the cost of running a car has outstripped wage inflation. The reason for this is that most people have no practical choice.
"As many as 800,000 of the poorest car-owning households already spend more than a quarter of their disposable income on buying and running a vehicle. The danger is that people will be put off from taking up employment because they just can't afford the commute.
"Transport poverty is a real threat to the economy and there needs to be renewed justification from ministers as to why such an essential product as road fuel is taxed at 60%."
By Peter Woodman, Press Association