Millions in the North at risk of transport-related social exclusion, new analysis warns

More than one in five people in northern England are at risk of transport-related social exclusion, according to new analysis.

A study by Transport for the North, which advises the Government on the region’s transport needs, warned 21.3% of residents live in areas with poor access to jobs, education, healthcare and key services.

That is equivalent to 3.3 million people.

The report found the areas with a significant risk or transport-related exclusion are spread across the North, particularly in former manufacturing and mining communities, in coastal areas, and in smaller towns and cities.

A decline in bus service provision has exacerbated the problem by reducing travel choices for the most vulnerable people, according to the analysis.

Lord Patrick Mcloughlin, the former transport secretary who chairs Transport for the North, said transport-related social exclusion “impacts people’s lives on a daily basis”.

He went on: “Over one in five people in the North are at risk of exclusion because of the limitations of transport options in their community.

“That is millions of people, many of whom are those with specific needs who rely on public transport to get to work, to go to medical appointments or to just see friends and family.

“This issue is holding the region back and must be addressed if we are to achieve our full potential.”

A Government spokesperson said: “We’re investing billions in projects that will improve local transport, renew and reshape town centres and high streets, and drive growth in areas which need it the most.

“We have allocated £5 million specifically for pilot projects to understand how transport may be used to alleviate loneliness and keep people connected.”

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