Edinburgh voted best city in UK for travel links

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EDINBURGH has been ranked the best city in the UK for its local travel links for the second year running.

The Capital also claimed the top spot for ease of long distance travel in the survey of 45 UK towns, cities and regions, up from 14th place last year and ousting York from first place.

Cambridge in England and Carmarthenshire in Wales ranked joint bottom for being the most difficult areas to travel within, scoring six out of 10 in this year’s Easy Travel Index.

The Welsh region was also deemed the hardest place from which to travel further afield, scoring 5.9 out of 10.

The study, conducted by transport company ESP Group, asked respondents to rate how easy they find travelling within their local area and also how they rate travelling further afield from where they live.

Edinburgh scored 7.5 out of 10 for ease of local travel and 7.1 out of 10 for ease of longer distance travel.

Dr Steve Cassidy, managing director of Viaqqio, which is part of ESP Group, said: “It’s interesting to see that the top cities are predominantly Scottish and northern English cities.

“This could be linked to longer commutes in the south, though efficient and customer-focused public transport can benefit all.”

London climbed the greatest number of places for ease of local travel, moving from 18th in 2016 to fourth in 2017 with a score of 7.2 out of 10.

Newcastle and Glasgow were joint second for ease of local travel, while St Andrews and Kirkcaldy in Fife and London were joint third.

For ease of long distance travel, Salford and Glasgow were in joint second place, while Dundee, Birmingham and Kirkcaldy were joint third.

The Easy Travel Index also found that perceptions of ease of local and long-distance travel have improved since 2016, but it warned there are still problems that need to be urgently resolved:

It found younger people are most affected by the rising cost of transport, with 43% of 16-29s reporting that it makes travel difficult.

A total of 30% of respondents said they sometimes do not leave the house due to travel concerns.

Dr Cassidy said: “With 30% of people sometimes feeling housebound due to fears of travelling, more work needs to be done to address common problems that can be easily resolved.

“As an industry, we are striving to ensure public transport is accessible and attractive to all those who want to use it. We will continue repeating this research on an annual basis and look forward to seeing how cities rise and fall over the next 12 months.”

The study of 4,966 individuals aged 16 and over was carried out in July.