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Greens call for public transport investment as new data reveals 1 in 4 don’t drive

Greens have highlighted the need for more investment in Public Transport and active travel as new Census Data reveals that fewer than one in four households in Bradford have access to a car.

Research by Bradford District Green Party using the new data, showed large variations in car ownership across Bradford District - in several areas fewer than half of households had access to a car (1). 

The areas in Bradford with the lowest percentage of access to a car were:

  • Central Bradford 65.6%
  • Barkerend West & Little Germany 52.4%
  • Holmewood 52.1%
  • Broomfields & East Bowling 51.4%
  • Holme Top 47.5%

However, rural areas of the district had much higher car ownership. The areas in the district with the the fewest carless households were:

  • Menston & Burley Moor 9.9%
  • Riddlesden & East Morton 11.7%
  • Baildon North 12.6%
  • Steeton & Silsden Rural 13.2%
  • Crossflatts & Eldwick 13.3%

Councillor Matt Edwards, leader of the Green Group on Bradford Council said, 

Councillor Matt Edwards stood outside Bradford Forster Square with arms crossed“This data shows there is a big variation of car ownership across Bradford. In parts of our district  fewer than half the households have access to a car as a means of getting around.

"It just confirms why it is so important that we invest in public transport and active transport like cycling.

“We are seeing bus services being lost - even in places where people rely on the bus to get around. In Holmewood, less than half of households have access to a car but we have seen a reduction in services along Tong Street in recent years - most recently when First Bus withdrew their 256 services.

“Bradford Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority need to rethink their approach to transport planning and focus on public transport and building networks of safe, segregated cycle routes to make cycling a genuine option.”

New data by cycle industry campaign group Bike Is Best also revealed that millions of Britons are trapped in “transport poverty” owing to a lack of alternatives to car ownership.

The Bike Is Best study found that on average UK motorists spent 10% of their total income on costs related to their car - with this figure increasing to 19% if they had some form of finance.

Councillor Caroline Whitaker, a Green Party councillor for Craven Ward which includes Addingham, Steeton and Sildsen said, 

Councillor Caroline Whitaker standing next to a road with a view of Silsden in the background“Car ownership is so expensive and I know many people are looking at ways to cut down their bills. The costs associated with owning and running a car are such a big percentage of people's incomes now - especially for those on lower incomes. 

“It is no surprise that car ownership in the North of the District is as high as it is when there are so few options for people to get around - even in places like Addingham, Steeton and Silsden the bus service is only hourly in the evenings and on Sundays and you can only get to a limited number of destinations.

“Now more than ever, we need to make sure that we all have access to affordable, frequent public transport and safer ways to get around on foot or by bike.”