The population of the County of Hampshire is over 1,650,000. There are 511 bus services in the county, run by 30 bus operators and covering over 4.5 million miles annually. Each member of the population makes on average 1.6 trips per day, and the car ownership level for the Winchester area in 1997 was 1.2 cars per household. The number of public transport users in Winchester has remained relatively unchanged since 1993. Some 80 percent of trips are made by car, while the proportion of trips made by public transport is as low as 9 percent.
Car ownership in Hampshire is growing at a faster rate than the national average. More and more journeys are being made by car, placing a greater burden on the road network. In 1997, motor vehicles in Hampshire covered around 10 billion kilometres along Hampshire’s roads, an increase of almost 30 percent over the previous decade. National forecasts predict that traffic levels in the county could rise by 50 percent by 2020 unless new and sustainable policies are adopted and supported by a robust investment programme.
Hampshire’s integrated transport strategies emphasise the need to develop public transport, walking and cycling. The strategies aim to reduce the level of car dependence in favour of more sustainable modes.