Text Size

Current Size: 100%

League table shows Nottingham beats London as least car dependent city

13 September 2010
New research (PDF, 2.5MB) shows that in many cities people are locked into driving cars rather than choosing to use them. Campaign for Better Transport's comprehensive research, published today, showed that Nottingham is the least car-dependent city in England, closely followed by London and Brighton and Hove.

Campaign for Better Transport's Car Dependency Scorecard examines for the first time how dependent we are on cars in major cities – and suggests providing sustainable transport choices would be a solution, creating a greener and less congested urban environment. It uses data from 17 different sources to rank the main 19 cities in England.

The Scorecard reveals that the best cities for giving people real transport choices are:

1. Nottingham
2. London
3. Brighton and Hove

The worst for dependency on the car are:

1. Milton Keynes
2. Peterborough
3. Luton

The report is published as the Government considers massive cuts to local transport funding, which could harm the ability of cities to reduce dependency on the car. It warns that improvements in many cities could be under threat if funding is cut following the Spending Review.

Ten years ago John Prescott launched Labour's Transport 2010 strategy for transport which aimed to help local authorities to provide better and more integrated transport options. The Car Dependency Scorecard gives an indication of which local transport authorities have used the powers and funding effectively to improve transport in their city. Each ranked city has a separate grade for their local transport plans, with Nottingham scoring best for its plans.

Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport said:

"Our report shows that for many people, car use is not a matter of choice but is due to other options just not being available. Factors such as lack of local facilities, poor public transport or bad conditions for cyclists and pedestrians can mean that people are reliant on a car, with congestion and pollution the result."

"There have been improvements in many cities, but cuts in government spending, for instance support for local bus services, could harm these. City authorities must also make sure that they prioritise their remaining funding on sustainable forms of transport and ensure that planning policies protect local shops and services."


Notes to editors

Read our 2010 Car Dependency Scorecard in full (PDF, 2.5MB)

Two cities in each UK region were selected on population data. For the south and south-east, due to the high numbers of commuters in these regions, we also decided to include Milton Keynes and Cambridge.

The Scorecard identifies 17 indicators which reflect car dependency. These were mainly publicly available data produced by the Department for Transport, (DfT), Commission for Rural Communities, Department for Communities and local Government (DCLG), the Audit Commission and the Office of National Statistics. In all instances we used the most recent data available. Additional analysis was done by Campaign for Better Transport to produce information on price of bus services and mode share of peak time journeys.

Each city's score for each indicator was ranked from 1 to 19. An aggregate score using these ranks was prepared for groups of related indicators, or sections. We then used these ranks to create an overall city ranking. The analysis covered three areas:


  • Accessibility and planning
  • Quality and uptake of public transport
  • Walking and cycling

The full ranking (from least car dependent to most):


1 Nottingham
2 London
3 Brighton and Hove
4 Manchester
5 Liverpool
6 Newcastle
7 Cambridge
8 Birmingham
9 Plymouth
10 Southampton
11 Sunderland
12 Leicester
13 Bristol
14 Leeds
14 Coventry
16 Sheffield
17 Luton
18 Peterborough
19 Milton Keynes