Blaenau Gwent 'most car-dependant county' in England and Wales
5:41pm Monday 2nd December 2013 in News
A GWENT borough is the most car-dependent area of anywhere in England and Wales, according to a study published today.
The RAC Foundation said Blaenau Gwent has the largest percentage of workers who use a car or van as a driver or a passenger to get to and from their workplace.
The charity, which analysed 2011 census data, says that overall Welsh commuters are significantly more dependent on their cars for getting to work than people in England.
Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “Westminster politicians seem fixated with travel by train, bus and bike, but the reality is that outside London the car dominates the journey to work, with the greatest reliance seen in Wales.
“People are still driving despite a decade over which the cost of running a car has outstripped wage inflation, and that’s because most have no alternative. Transport poverty is a real threat to the economy and there needs to be renewed justification from ministers as to why such an essential product as road fuel is taxed at 60 per cent.”
According to the figures 82.2 per cent of workers make their journeys to and from work as a driver or passenger in a car or a van in Blaenau Gwent.
Some 9.8 per cent of journeys were made on foot and 3.1 per cent by bus, minibus or coach, but only 0.8 per cent were made by train – despite the opening of the Ebbw Valley Line in 2008.
In Torfaen 80.3 per cent of journeys were done by car or van, while the figure was 79.5 per cent in Caerphilly, 73.6 per cent in Newport and 74.1 per cent in Monmouthshire.
Nick Smith, Labour Blaenau Gwent MP, said: “As Blaenau Gwent is at the top of the valley, it is always going to have a bigger dependence on cars with our distance from the coast and the M4 corridor.
“It’s another piece of evidence that we need more long-term investment in infrastructure like the A465 dualling. In particular, we need to push for the redoubling of the Ebbw Vale to Cardiff line, complete with a more frequent service.”
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