Cycle? We prefer to drive...

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Calder Valley residents are some the most reliant on using cars to get to work compared with other areas of the country.

Just 44 per cent of workers would be able to commute by either walking or cycling in the event of a fuel shortage, a study by Dr Ian Philips of the University of Leeds found.

The study, which analysed statistics from the Census and other sources to map how resilient areas were, found that the hilliness and commuting distance in Calderdale were linked to low capacity to get to work by walking and cycling.

Dr Philips, who presented his findings to the Royal Geographical Society’s conference this week, said his research could be used by campaigners fighting for more funding for sustainable transport measures, in particular cycling, in targeted areas across the region.

He said: “This is a piece of a bigger jigsaw to make a better, sustainable transport system. Things like making people healthier, making it safer for kids to ride their bikes to school, are no-brainers.

“Here we have the evidence to target small areas in order to help people, rather than looking at mega schemes.”

Sam Jones, campaign coordinator at cycling charity CTC, said the research highlighted the need for provision and encouragement that is “simply is not there at the moment.”

He said: “Despite assurances from central Government that active travel is a priority,, unless you live in London or one of the eight cycling cities, the funding will dry up.”