Flemings still in love with their cars

According to the results of a survey commissioned by the Flemish Transport Minister Hilde Crevits (Christian democrat), one in three Flemings takes the car to make journeys of 1km or less. 1,600 people, adults as well as children over the age of 6, were asked about their travelling habits.

The study found that 70% of all journeys are made by car. This is despite half of all journeys made by Flemings being less than 5km.

An average of one quarter of the journeys were made are on foot or by bike. Bottom of the pile is public transport, with just one in twenty of Flemings’ journeys being made by bus, train, tram or metro.

One in three Flemings would definitely take their car for a journey of 1km (between 10 and 15 minutes’ walk). Only journeys of a couple of hundred metres are made preferably on foot.

The results come despite the Flemish Governments’ STOP campaign that aims to make Flemings think about alternatives to the car and also aims to promote a balance between walking, cycling, public transport and private motor vehicles.

Speaking on VRT Radio 1’s morning news and current affairs programme ‘De Ochtend’, Ms Crevits (photo) told listeners that “What suprises me is that so many people take their cars for journeys of less than one kilometre”.

“To go to the baker’s or the butchers, despite knowing full-well that it’s not easy to park nearby. It’s almost incredible.”

The Flemish Transport Minister admits that there is still a long way to go as regards cycle lane infrastructure.

"It’s really important that we continue to invest in good, safe cycle route infrastructure and that the municipalities invest in good footpaths.”

Ms Crevits adds that cyclists that want to use public transport should also be provided with somewhere to park their bike, at or near to the station or tram/bus stop. Similarly adequate car-parking space should be provided at stations.