60% of people willing to change how they travel to reduce carbon emissions

Study linked to ad campaign Your Journey Counts indicates a significant minority are resistant to change

Most people are willing to make changes to how they travel to help lower carbon emissions, although a significant minority appear resistant to change, new research commissioned by the Department of Transport suggests.

The Red C survey shows that two-thirds (67 per cent) of Irish adults believe reducing carbon emissions is important. The research forms part of the department’s new multi-platform advertising campaign Your Journey Counts which outlines Government investment in transport and encourages people to think about their means of transport and the difference it can make to cutting carbon emissions.

The main findings of the survey were:

* 77 per cent of people agree that walking, cycling and using public transport are important with regard to impact on the environment;


* some 90 per cent of car drivers would swap the car for walking, cycling and public transport for short journeys of less than 2km, most of which are currently made by private car;

* 67 per cent of drivers would be willing to cut back on private car use as confidence in public transport improves;

* 60 per cent of respondents said they are willing to personally make changes to how they travel.

The department said this year the Government would invest €1.9 billion in green, cleaner travel options such as public transport, walking and cycling infrastructure as well as carbon-reduction programmes to help support a shift away from car use where possible.

Every day of 2023 €1 million is being spent on walking and cycling infrastructure with a view to creating safe routes and sustainable connections in cities and to towns and villages, the department said.

The Red C survey, carried out online among a representative sample of Irish adults between June 2nd and June 16th, also indicated significant proportions of parents/guardians agree that their children will be walking (45 per cent), cycling (31 per cent), or using public transport (24 per cent) more often in the next six months.

The department also drew attention to statistics which showed that switching a 4km car trip to school with walking, cycling or scooting can save 200kg of CO2 each year. The statistics also showed an intercity train travelling from Cork to Dublin replaces 90 cars on Irish roads and saves 1.6 tonnes of CO2 with every journey.

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said the awareness campaign “is about letting people know about the improvements we are making to public transport and active travel services and what their options are locally. Then with this information about what services are available, and what will be coming on stream in the near future, we are asking people to consider their journeys and if these services might be an option for them to help us reduce our transport emissions.”

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist