Hamilton’s car-free households: 2018 update

This is an update from a post on ‘car-free households looking at the 2013 Census’. We can now look back two decades at the percentage of households in Hamilton that are car-free; 10% in 2001, 7.7% in 2006, 8.2% in 2013, and 7% in 2018. We can also see that travel to work by car has changed very little and the cars people do own are getting older. 

In 2001 there were four areas where every household had a car; in 2018 there were just two. There are improving outcomes north of Wairere Drive. For the rest of Hamilton’s households there is an increase in car ownership over time. The reason for this does not appear to be for travel to work. Looking at travel to work; 19 percent of workers did not need a car to travel to work in 2001 and similarly 18 percent did not in 2018. The maps below show central Hamilton having a growing culture of not needing a car for work. The areas of Queenwood, Chedworth, and neighbourhoods north of Wairere Drive, are also becoming less dependent on the car for work.

Early this century new car registrations were over 10k per quarter and they have never gone back to that level; the reason car ownership is high is because we keep older cars running for longer. In 2001 the average age of a car was 11.6 years; in 2018 the average of a light passenger vehicle was 14.4 years, (ehinz) and ‘our vehicles drive long distances before we get rid of them. The average odometer of light vehicles being scrapped has risen to 215,000km in 2014 up from 174,000km in 2001’ (*NZTA).

ehinz – Environmental Health Indicators New Zealand 

*NZTA New Zealand’s vehicle fleet 

Latest HCC Quarterly Economic Report

For 1 in 5 people the car is not an indispensable feature of travelling to work, and this year Covid-19 has shown we can adapt and use our car less. There are four ways the city can increase the number of people living without a car: encourage (and make safe) walking, cycling, taking the bus, and working/studying from home.

Category: News

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