Car journeys down and E scooters up as commuters want to offset carbon footprint

Car journeys down and E scooters up as commuters want to offset carbon footprint

The number of commuters in Norwich has dropped by 4% since the pandemic began, with 92% of workers in the city commuting to work before March 2020, compared to 88% who commute now according to survey research revealed today.

There has been an increase in workers surveyed commuting by car with figures showing 42% before March 2020 compared to 44% now.

While driving is still the most popular form of transport for commuting, the survey revealed that 8% travelled by bus, 10% cycled, 4% got the train and 14% walked. E-scooters are now used by 4% of commuters surveyed to get to their place of work.

20% of people in Norwich surveyed travelled less than one mile to work on the commute, 16% travelled 1-2 miles, 20% travelled more than 2 miles up to 5 miles, 11% travelled more than 5 miles up to 10 miles and just over 2% travelled over forty miles to get to work.

Before March 2020 less people surveyed (13%) commuted under a mile to work though more (4%) made a journey of more than forty miles on their commute.

Commuter miles by car, bus and train are contributing to the carbon emissions in the city and polluting the air. When asked about their reaction to this just over half (54%) of workers surveyed in Norwich agreed* that they wish there were an easy way for them to offset their carbon emissions from commuting to work.  Nearly 2 in 5 (38%) workers agreed* they would be interested in buying solar panels for their house to offset their carbon footprint caused by their commute and 2 in 5 (40%) agreed* people should buy solar panels to offset their carbon footprint caused by their commute.

Solar panels reduce households’ carbon footprint and solar energy produces little or no emissions when it is converted to electricity. As a natural, renewable source, solar energy can be replenished unlike fossil fuels which are finite. The Energy Saving Trust estimates the average UK home with a solar PV system installed could reduce carbon emissions by 1.3 to 1.6 tonnes per year depending on location in the UK. 1.3 tonnes of carbon emission is equivalent to the amount of CO2 emissions that come from using 536 gallons of petrol   or charging 607,904 smartphones. A standard solar PV system in the UK will avoid 39 tons of carbon dioxide over 30 years which is equivalent to a medium-sized petrol car driving 90,000 miles.

Simon Peat, CEO of Project Solar UK who commissioned the research on Norwich commuters and their thoughts on solar energy, said, “Commutes have dropped in the past year and nearly half (46%) of workers surveyed in Norwich agreed* that given the choice, they would choose to work from home to reduce their carbon footprint through not commuting. We are witnessing a surge in interest in using solar panels in the home to help reduce  carbon emissions as Norwich residents seek out  ways to look after the environment.”

For more information visit the Project Solar UK website

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