Woes getting around for town’s non-drivers

Council officials say measures are in place to provide better alternatives to travelling by car

Council officials say measures are in place to provide better alternatives to travelling by car

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WIGANERS without a car are facing an uphill struggle to get around, according to a new national survey.

The Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) has revealed the places where residents find it increasingly difficult to travel without a motor.

And the borough has ranked as one of the most car-dependant locations, alongside Bradford, Swindon and Derby.

Council bosses said efforts were being made to improve transport links and promote alternatives to car travel.

Mark Tilley, assistant director for infrastructure said: “The £68m guided busway, due for completion in 2015 will improve local links as well as providing a high frequency service to Manchester city centre.

“Wigan Council is also making improvements to our cycling network so that cycling is safer, more secure and more enjoyable in our town centres and along routes linked to residential areas.

“There are plans to link the borough’s own network of cycle, foot and bridle paths into various national and regional networks.”

The least car dependant places revealed in the survey include Manchester and Liverpool.

The CBT ranked locations on four categories; accessibility and planning, quality and uptake of bus and rail services, cycling and walking alternatives and driving and car use.

Chief executive Stephen Joseph 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.”

Mr Tilley added: “We also work with schools to help reduce the number of school runs taken by car and promote safe active travel.

“The Rail North partnership is working to ensure the next round of franchising for local rail services is much better able to meet local needs, as well as looking at how additional train rolling stock can be provided to meet passenger demand and replace the aging Pacer trains as soon as possible.”

Mr Joseph added: “What emerges strongly from the research is that local control often goes hand in hand with smarter policies and better targeted investments.”