“Young couples ‘trapped in car dependency’ “

“It must be miserable: you’ve saved for a newly-built home past the town’s ring-road, but now you’re trapped too often in a metal box with wheels.
You spend hours in traffic ferrying yourself and your children around because your estate has no shops; no pub; no doctor; no school; no jobs.
A report says this is the buttock-numbing fate of numerous young couples.

It’s come about because planners allowed edge-of-town housing estates where car travel is the only option.

Intriguingly, the research by a new green group – Transport for New Homes – has been backed by a motoring group, the RAC Foundation.

Researchers visited more than 20 new housing developments across England in what they say is the first piece of research of its kind.

They found that the scramble to build new homes is producing houses next to bypasses and link roads which are too far out of town to walk or cycle, and which lack good local buses. …

The problem is that planners are measured by whether they hit their targets for new housing,” she said. ‘At the moment they just approach developers who are sitting on greenfield sites and end up peppering housing round towns without any regard to whether the land is accessible or not.”

Councillor Martin Tett, transport spokesman for the Local Government Association, called for councils to be given powers to ensure house builders contribute to local infrastructure and services as part of new development.

He said: “The planning system exists to ensure development is appropriate and residents are able to have their say.

“Councils are determined to do more in planning for new places in ways that improve air quality and promote more sustainable forms of travel but a lack of funding is a clear barrier to such investment.”

A government spokesperson said its revised planning rulebook tells developers to create high quality areas which promote walking, cycling and use of public transport.

They added: “The rules also make sure that councils put plans in place for the infrastructure needed to support new developments.”