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Swedes 'dependent' on their cars: study

TT/Clara Guibourg · 8 Jul 2011, 15:36

Published: 08 Jul 2011 15:36 GMT+02:00

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More than half of Swedes consider themselves "completely or fairly dependent" on their car, according to the study.

"The survey confirms our image that cars solve many people's daily struggle for time, particularly for families with children," Jessica Alenius, deputy CEO of BIL Sweden, said in a statement.

However, this goes against a report published in 2010 by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturskyddsföreningen), which claimed that half of all car trips in Sweden are shorter than five kilometers.

"In cities the quick trips are even more frequent. And even shorter," wrote the agency.

Short car journeys of this sort are especially targeted as "unnecessary" in the Swedish Road Administration's (Vägverket) report "Sustainable Travel" (Hållbart resande), which points out that these are the most easily replaced by alternative modes of travel: walking, cycling, car-pooling or using public transport.

The survey conducted by BIL Sweden also showed that Swedish women's car ownership is on the rise.

"Public debate generally makes it sound as if men drive more, while women use more public transport, which is incorrect. Today, cars are the number one form of transport for both women and men," said Alenius.

Although more women may be purchasing cars than previously, other statistics show that the vast majority of all car trips in Sweden continue to be made by men.

Story continues below…

A recent study in Malmö showed that if men began using the same means of transport as women for trips of five kilometers or less, car journeys would decrease by 19 percent, bus trips increase by 26 percent, and trips made on foot increase by 12 percent.

TT/Clara Guibourg (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:17 July 8, 2011 by eddie123
interesting findings
20:10 July 8, 2011 by e1zorro
It was 5 years or so before I got around to getting a car after moving to stockholm.

Stockholm is small, and has excellent public transport so it wasn't too much of a hassle.

Of course, now I have I car I wonder how I ever managed before- but that's convenience for you.
23:03 July 8, 2011 by yellowbluedemocrat
So Bil Sweden and MRF commissioned a study which confirmed their feelings and contradicted findings in an earlier study by Naturvårdsverket. One doesn't need a degree in market research to wonder how the questions were phrased, how large the sample was and how the contract with the surveyors was worded. It's good to have data on important societal questions, but one would prefer that the data collection and study design be carried and funded by impartial scientists. This story doesn't provide sufficient information to make the headlined results credible.
23:24 July 9, 2011 by Twiceshy
"The survey confirms our image that cars solve many people's daily struggle for time, particularly for families with children,"


"However, this goes against a report ... which claimed that half of all car trips in Sweden are shorter than five kilometers. "

Those two statements are not contradictory. I don't see any evidence in the article that the two studies contradict each other.
11:21 July 10, 2011 by voiceofreason
Who decides that a trip is unnecessary or not. There is no reason to punish the ownership of cars. How about closing don Volvo, and Saab so that we can satisfy the desires of these hyprocrites.
00:47 July 11, 2011 by Puffin
The reality for many outside of the big cities is that there is no public transport alternative

My nearest bus stop is 1km away - however public transport is uncoordinated and impossible to use for work commuting

- there are only 2 busses in each direction per day

- the bus arrives in the next small town 20 minutes too late to connect with the train to the big cities and the last bus leaves over 2 hours before the main commuter train

- there is no bus at all between June 10 and August 22!

Any wonder people depend on cars?
02:02 July 13, 2011 by xiongyishi1234
I do believe people in the big city do not need to frequently drive their car as the public transportation is incredibly convenient. But please forget about public transporting in countryside or small city, it is complex to accustomed to use

public transportation for working commuting or traveling.
23:19 July 13, 2011 by countrysidedrive
More people would take public transport if it was much cleaner and reliable. It is fun to sit in a filthy bus or tram. And on top of that there are so obvious things rattling, loose seats, gross and dirty seats, scratches of graffit all over. And on top of that they are not consistant. And I dont know how many times I have asked a bus driver if I was on the right bus and was given the incorrect info. It needs to be much much better.
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