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Rishi Sunak should end ‘war on motorists’ rhetoric and deliver better public transport, say think tank

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Rishi Sunak and politicians in Westminster should end their “war on motorists” rhetoric and deliver better public transport to improve their chances at the next general election, a leading think tank has said.

Exclusive polling shared with The Independent reveals that British people are increasingly concerned about the quality of bus, train and bicycle routes after the cost-of-living crisis prompted a change in travel habits.

More than half of the British public – 53 per cent – think having public transport to and from work is a necessity, while more than a third – 35 per cent – say the same about using public transport to see family and friends. This compares to just one in five who see a car as essential, at 20 per cent.

Public transport to work is also seen as more crucial than having a phone (46 per cent) and access to the internet (43 per cent), the polling conducted by More in Common and commissioned by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) reveals.

The prime minister has been accused of attempting to politicise issues around transport, describing traffic schemes such as low-traffic neighbourhoods as “harebrained”. He has also vowed to end what he sees as the “war on motorists”.

But the polling reveals that 40 per cent of those who drive regularly – defined as three to four times a week – would like to use public transport more often. Four in 10 – 38 per cent – also want the opportunity to walk or cycle more than they currently do.

Travellers at Liverpool Street station during the Easter weekend

(Lucy North/PA)

The survey also reveals the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on people’s transport habits, with seven in 10 people – 71 per cent – changing how they travel to reduce costs in the last two years.

And four in 10 people – 42 per cent – are worried about people being able to afford transport to get around in their day-to-day lives.

Stephen Frost, co-author of the research and principal research fellow at IPPR, said: “Rhetoric from the prime minister fabricating a ‘war on motorists’ over the last few months has been incredibly unhelpful.

“In reality, we know that even the most regular drivers also get on buses and trains and benefit from safer streets to walk, wheel and cycle. You’re not either a driver or a non-driver – in fact, most of us drive and use public transport…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at The Independent Travel…