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15 December 2014, 07:35
Peterborough is the hardest place in England to live without a car, according to a survey.
People in Colchester in Essex and Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire are also particularly up against it if they have no access to a motor, the survey by the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) found.
Other places where not having a car can be a real disadvantage include Swindon, Wigan, Bradford, Derby and Dudley in Worcestershire.
London, with its extensive public transport network, is considered the least car-dependent location among the 29 English cities and towns surveyed.
CBT rated each location on four categories:
:: Accessibility and planning;
:: Buses and trains quality and uptake;
:: Cycling and walking as alternatives;
:: Driving and car use.
On Peterborough, the CBT found the city had ``weaknesses in its public transport infrastructure'' and people there were heavily reliant on cars.
But it added: ``There are some signs of hope, however, as many people already cycle regularly, showing there is scope for improvement and a will for active travel.''
Colchester was seen as the location where residents were least likely to be able to get to primary school, work or the town centre by walking or public transport.
The spread-out nature of Milton Keynes meant longer distance for people to have to travel.
On London, the CBT said: ``The capital's control of its transport policy offers lessons for other cities and policy makers keen to reduce car dependency.''
The second least car-dependent location was Manchester, followed by Liverpool, Brighton & Have and Newcastle upon Tyne.
CBT chief executive Stephen Joseph said: ``To be good places to live and work, towns and cities need good transport. The most successful places in our research give people a choice in how you get around.
``They have good quality public transport, plan new development thoughtfully and make it easy and safe for people to cycle and walk.''
He went on: ``There is a lot that Government can do to make our cities less car dependent. What emerges strongly from the research is that local control often goes hand in hand with smarter policies and better targeted investments.
``More devolution to English cities could mean more integrated and greener transport networks that make our towns and cities better places.''
These were the rankings, with the least car-dependent locations at the top of the table:
4. Brighton & Hove
5. Newcastle upon Tyne
27. Milton Keynes