Cars get thumbs down from Barcelona residents, says study

Only 33% of people in Catalan capital see cars as good option for getting around, while 90% say fewer cars would improve quality of life


A sign indicating a low emissions zone and the resttriction of cars in Barcelona. (Photo: Pol Solà)
A sign indicating a low emissions zone and the resttriction of cars in Barcelona. (Photo: Pol Solà) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

September 13, 2019 10:37 AM

Driving in Barcelona is generally a slow and stressful experience, so it comes as no surprise that only a third of residents see the car as a good option for getting around the city.

A new study by market research firm Harris Interactive for carsharing app Drivy found that 90% of Barcelona residents think fewer cars in the city would improve their quality of life. 

In fact, 87% of Barcelona residents say they would use their cars less if there were better transport options, with 27% saying they would be happy to give up their cars altogether.

Published on Thursday, the study also says that Barcelona residents barely give the city council's initiatives to reduce traffic a pass, with a score of just 5.1 out of 10.

Among the options residents call for in order to stop using their cars is better public transport (55%) and alternative solutions, such as carsharing (26%).

Comparisons with other European cities

Comparing the perceptions of car use in other European cities, such as Madrid, London and Berlin, the study says Barcelona residents are the ones who worry most about pollution.

In fact, 96% of people who live in the Catalan capital think the city habitually suffers from pollution, compared to 91% of those in Paris and 88% in Brussels. 

The city also tops the ranking of cities in terms of noise pollution, with 92% of residents complaining of vehicle noise compared to 89% in Madrid or 85% in Berlin.

Barcelona is also ranked as one of the cities in Europe in which fewer residents see the car as the best way of getting around, at 33% compared to 43% in Madrid or 46% in Brussels.

As for carsharing, 77% of those surveyed see it is a good transportation option, slightly more than residents in London (75%) but fewer than those in Madrid (82%).