The Campaign for Better Transport, an independent charity that works to provide “well-researched, practical solutions to transport problems”, has published a survey on car dependency across European capital cities. Belfast came 12th out of 13, with only Rome doing worse.
From the full survey PDF:
Why did Belfast do so badly?
Belfast is the second most car dependent city in our study. The city performed poorly across all the indicators and was particularly bad for high car use to commute, low uptake of public transport and expensive fares.
Public transport in Belfast has suffered from decades of under investment whilst the road network has been well financed. This disparity has no doubt contributed to the high car dependency. More needs to be done to improve and fund public transport.
Recent moves include plans to improve services, particularly in regard to buses with a network of quality bus corridors and a Bus Rapid Transit system. Increased levels of cycling and walking could be encouraged with the city’s plans for traffic calming.
All true, as any native could tell you. It should be noted that some of the bus schemes mentioned threaten important cycle infrastructure such as the Comber Greenway, and must be considered in this context.
So, we are addicted to our cars in Belfast, largely out of necessity. Thankfully though it’s not a dead-end situation. Improvement plans are under way, and they can only benefit us all.
Thanks to Lap The Lough for the link to the survey.