May 21, 2022
Statistics show that East Riding of Yorkshire residents took 50 minutes to reach the hospital, 26 minutes to go to secondary school, 12 minutes to reach the grocery store and 16 minutes to reach the nearest major employment center on foot or by public transport. ۔ 2019. Photo: PA Images

In its recently published Leveling Up White Paper, the government pledged to bring public transport connectivity across the country to London standards by 2030.

But campaigns calling for more funding to improve access to bus and rail services say the recent cuts mean the government is sending mixed messages on its commitment to raising standards.

Each year, the Department for Transportation calculates travel times on foot or by public transport to up to eight local services from neighborhoods across England.

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DfT data shows the travel times of these services in East Riding of Yorkshire, including large workplaces, secondary schools, hospitals, grocery stores and town centers, with an average of 24 minutes in 2019 – the latest data available.

Meanwhile, the average travel time to reach those key services in the capital – which has the fastest travel times nationally – was about 12 minutes.

Statistics show that East Yorkshire residents took 50 minutes to reach the hospital in 2019, 26 minutes to reach the secondary school, 12 minutes to reach the grocery store and 16 minutes to reach the nearest major employment center on foot or by public transport.

In contrast, it would take Londoners about 27 minutes to reach the hospital, 13 minutes to go to secondary school, six minutes to go to the grocery store and seven minutes to go to work.

Regionally, travel time for the same services by public transport or on foot is the slowest in the Southwest, where people have to travel an average of more than 22 minutes – ten minutes longer than in London.

In Yorkshire and Humber, the average travel time in 2019 was 18 minutes.

However, some differences in travel times – especially between rural and urban areas – are expected due to population differences and increasing demand for services.

Paul Tohi, chief executive of the Campaign for Improved Transportation, said the figures show that to ensure everyone has access to where they need to go by public transport.

He said good, affordable public transport was key to creating social and economic equality, adding: “Warm words will not suffice.

“Funding should be available to introduce services where there is currently no one, and to improve services where they are not good enough.”

A DfT spokesman said the government was committed to improving all modes of transport across the UK and improving driving standards.

He added: “Our £ 96 billion integrated rail project is expanding train travel to the north, we have £ 5.7 billion to improve city connectivity, £ 3 billion to build green and more reliable bus services. Billion, and investing £ 4.8 billion through leveling. Funding for critical services and infrastructure.

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