Researchers say Nottingham is least car dependent

image captionThe report said car use was not a matter of choice for many but was forced on them by lack of options

Nottingham has been identified as the least car dependent city in England, according to new research.

The Campaign for Better Transport rated 19 cities for quality of public transport, ease of cycling and walking and how available options were.

Nottingham was noted for high bus usage and an expanding tram network, while London and Brighton were also praised for giving people effective choices.

Milton Keynes came bottom, being described as "designed for the car".

The report used 17 indicators - such as how many households can get to their town centre within 15 minutes by walking or public transport - to rate how much a car was needed in a city.

Cuts fear

It commended Nottingham for its low car usage on the school run and an efficient bus service. It said persistent efforts to secure funding for the tram extension and its workplace parking levy showed a dedicated commitment to sustainable transport.

Central London was praised for its well-funded public transport but outer boroughs were found to be car reliant. Brighton was found to have a cheap and well-used bus service.

Stephen Joseph, chief executive of Campaign for Better Transport, said: "Our report shows that, for many people, car use is not a matter of choice but is due to other options just not being available.

"Factors such as lack of local facilities, poor public transport or bad conditions for cyclists and pedestrians can mean that people are reliant on a car, with congestion and pollution the result."

He added possible government cuts to local transport funding could hamper cities' abilities to reduce car dependency.

Jane Urquhart, portfolio holder for transport at Nottingham City Council, said: "We have been at the forefront of making public transport a viable alternative to the car in Nottingham for many years, so it is heartening to have our efforts recognised in this way.

"We have a great network of modern buses, well-established park-and-ride sites connecting major employers, a very popular tramway and plenty of pedestrianised streets and cycle routes - all of which help to make Nottingham the pleasant, welcoming and accessible city it is."

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