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Private cars trump public transport in EU: study

[BRUSSELS] More than half of Europeans use their cars to travel daily in cities across the 28-member EU while less than one-fifth of them use public transport, a study revealed Monday.

An average of 54 per cent of people surveyed chose their cars on a typical day, compared to 19 per cent who use buses, trams or subway trains, according to a survey conducted for the European Commission, the EU's executive arm.

The study was published on a day when a strike against the austerity policies of the new Belgian government paralysed public transport in Brussels, the headquarters of the European Union.

The automobile is the preferred mode of urban transport in each of the 28 member states, even in the Netherlands, where 36 per cent use their bicycles and 45 per cent drive their cars, it said.

Car and bicycle users across the EU cited both convenience and speed as the main reasons for their choice of transport.

Respondents who used a car, motorcycle or moped said they would be encouraged to use public transport more often if it offered frequent service, better coverage and cheaper or seasonal ticket options.

Those who used public transport cited convenience, price and available facilities for their choice.

Across the EU on a typical day, an additional 14 per cent walked, eight per cent used bicycles, two per cent travelled by motorbike or moped and two per cent by train.

Some 27,800 people in the 28 member states were interviewed from 11-20 October for the survey.