Study reveals England’s best areas to live without a car

A new study by GoCompare has analysed ONS data to find the best locations in England to live without needing a car.

London came out on top, with Portsmouth second and Southend-on-Sea third. Completing the top 20 were Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Leicester, Brighton and Hove, Blackburn, Reading, Wallasey, Birmingham, Nottingham, North Shields, Altrincham, Watford, Southampton, Oldham and Oxford.

Outside of London, Southend-on-Sea came out as the best place for cyclists with a cycle score of 2999. Manchester, with a score of 2930, and Portsmouth, 2918, complete the top three, with these urban areas ensuring cyclists can get through busy city traffic without fear of passing motorists.

At the other end of the table, Blackburn had a score of 2588. Despite neighbouring the more successful Manchester, Blackburn’s lack of cycle lanes see bikers take to busy roads without the safety of any barrier, said the study. Leicester and Lincoln scored 2597 and 2620 respectively.

The study analysed the data to compare the walk, drive and cycle times to key amenities in over 300 towns and cities in England. Each location was then scored and ranked to find out the best places to live for those on bikes.

The amenities accounted for in the index include food shops, town centre, hospitals and GP, primary, secondary and higher education, and small, medium and large employment. The full report can be found here.

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