Nearly one in 12 AA members will attend an Olympic event this summer although they are realistic about their chances of being able to use the car to get to venues, an AA Populus survey of 20,161 respondents has found.
Only 4% of those going to the Olympics expect to find parking at a venue although 34% say they will use their car for part of the journey – 28% switching to public transport and 6% using park and ride – and 30% have yet to consider how they will get to the event.
More than two in five AA members (41%) are looking forward to the Olympics despite 55% expecting difficult traffic around London during the games.
Fears of an exodus of Londoners appears to have receded. In December a third told a YouGov survey that they were going to escape the games, the AA Populus survey now shows that only 12% will leave the Capital for at least some of the event.
Age, class and proximity are the key factors dictating the likelihood of an AA member going to one of the events. Against an overall 8% of respondents going to the Olympics, younger drivers and those likely to be involved in sport or with a younger family are most likely to be going, ranging from 10% to 13%.
Drivers from higher managerial or professional backgrounds are almost four times more likely (11%) to be a spectator at an event than one from a lower paid job or dependent on state benefits (3%).
Perhaps predictably, Londoners are most likely to be attending an event (16%), with the South East and East Anglia (both 10%) taking advantage of their closeness to the capital. Motorists from the West Midlands will be well represented at events with 9% going, compared to 7% of East Midlanders. Only 3% in both Scotland and Northern Ireland say they are going to make the trip to the Olympics in the South.
Edmund King, AA president, said: “Most drivers seem realistic that they will not be able to drive and park at most Olympic venues. The third of people without travel plans need to start thinking how they will get to the games. People know public transport will play a major role in getting to the venues although just over a third will be using their cars for part of the journey. With only 12% of Londoners leaving town, people will need to take into account just how busy it’s going to be getting to the venues.”