The only way to extricate them is through a combination of considerably more investment in public transport and increasing the pressure on bosses to stop them automatically giving their employees cars. Workplace car parking charges and congestion charges, Knowles believes could be the financial stick with which to beat employers and change attitudes.
His comments come after he spoke at the Royal Geographical Society's annual conference at Leicester University at which he warned the Government's plan to move substantially more people out of their cars on to public transport would not succeed without greater investment.
'When someone has a car that they have been presented with, are obliged to use, and costs less to use than those of the rest of the motoring population, it is even more difficult to get them out of it,' Knowles said. 'The catalyst that may lead to a change could be congestion and workplace parking charges. If they are introduced it will be the employer that pays. They may then rethink the traditional policies and look at car sharing or pooling and encouraging use of alternative transport.'