Transport: Motorists prefer jams to buses

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Congestion is costing car drivers pounds 10bn a year and most motorists would rather sit in the jams than switch to public transport, says a major report out yesterday.

Shopping adds pounds 500m to the congestion bill, school trips run up pounds 600m and commuting costs top pounds 1bn. A regular commuter faces, on average, 35 minutes extra in a car because of traffic jams.

Only 7 per cent of those who use their car to commute would use public transport instead - even if congestion doubled their journey time, according to the report by Lex, the country's largest car franchiser.

It appears that a stick is more effective than a carrot. Only 25 per cent of drivers would use a car if traffic-related pollution became a serious health hazard.

The most strongly supported option among motorists for reducing congestion would be investment in buses and trains and subsidies for public transport, the report found.

Banning cars from city centres, investment in bus lanes and investment in motorways and trunk roads were the next most favoured options.