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Data Limitations Rural and urban differences

The amount of rural data from the Carplus Annual Survey is quite small compared to urban data, even combined over two years. An exercise to clean up some of the non-standard postcodes showed that most of these were not rural so there was no prospect of producing a decent size data set. There is some Scottish data for rural schemes, reported in the Derbyshire bid, which has been taken into account but is not compatible with the annual survey. In the proposal to undertake this work it was hoped that a three category approach would be used if possible: rural, urban and London. The probability that this might have to be reduced to two, if suffi cient data was not available, was made clear. This has proved to be the case for rural areas.

The combined data set shows plausible overall fi gures: about twice as many users decrease car travel as increase it, on average decreases were around 2,400 miles per year, increases 2,000 miles per year. Most increasers did not own a car, most decreasers did, or had given up one car. Again this fi ts with other studies on who benefi ts most from car club membership and how benefi ts are distributed.

There is variability in the data for estimates of changes in car mileage between years, and some questions over reported numbers, and non-responses, for the changes in travel distance. These which are given as multiple choice from a range in the annual survey. The ratio of decreasers to increasers (2 to 61) was however, very similar across the years. Some of the individual responses investigated indicate that the question has not been fully understood, for example one increaser sold their car having driven 8,001-10,000 miles in it, and also claimed to have increased car driver miles by 8,001-10,000. They claimed to have used the car club for 1,001-2,000 miles and a car for 4,001- 6,000 miles and cycled several times a week. The more likely real outcome from the other respondent’s other answers was probably a decrease of around 2,000 miles (about average for someone who gives up a car).

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