Poll: Colchester is one of the most car dependent places in the country according to report

Colchester High Street

Colchester High Street - Credit: Su Anderson

A report published today by the Campaign for Better Transport places Colchester as the second most car dependent city in the country.

The study, used to produce the 2014 Car Dependency Scorecard, placed the town second from bottom for sustainable transport.

Colchester ranked lowest in the accessibility and planning category as out of all the places scrutinised its residents are least likely to be able to get to primary school, work or the town centre by walking or public transport.

The report also found that recent development has also been spread around the edges of the town, meaning longer journey times.

It said: “Although residents are relatively satisfied with their railway station and should find bus passes affordable, they have the least frequent bus service to a local GP.”

Colchester ranked 25th for uptake of bus and train services, and 27th for people walking or cycling to work.

However the town did place in the top half for the number of people who commute by bike at least five times a week.

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A Colchester Borough Council (CBC) spokesman said: “Colchester Borough Council works closely with the highways authority Essex County Council on the initiatives it is moving forward to make it easier to get in and around Colchester.

“Transport is an important element of CBC’s planning process. This year’s annual monitoring report for the Local Plan states that over 98% of housing built last year is within a 30 minute public transport journey to a hospital, doctor, school and retail centre.

“The council has opened six new cycle routes since 2012 and has also launched new bus promotion and bike security schemes.

“We manage and coordinate the Colchester Travel Plan Club, which promotes walking, cycling and public transport use to a number of large employers in Colchester. We also continue to work with partners on the North Station Travel Plan, assisting commuters and visitors to make more sustainable journeys around the town.”

Stephen Joseph, chief executive of the Campaign for Better Transport, 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.

“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.”