Carless Mansfield residents take more than 15 minutes to reach key services

Schools, hospitals and other key services in Mansfield take more than 15 minutes to reach on foot or by public transport, figures suggest.

In its recently published Levelling Up white paper, the Government pledged to bring public transport connectivity across the country in line with London standards by 2030.

But campaigners calling for more funding to improve access to bus and rail services say recent cuts mean the Government is giving mixed messages over its commitment to levelling up.

Each year, the Department for Transport calculates journey times from neighbourhoods across England to eight local services by walking or via public transport.

Campaigners calling for more funding to improve access to bus and rail services say recent cuts mean the Government is giving mixed messages over its commitment to levelling up.

DfT data shows in Mansfield journey times to these services, which include large workplaces, secondary schools, hospitals, food shops and town centres, averaged 17 minutes in 2019 – the latest data available. In Ashfield, it was 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, the average journey time to reach the same key services in the capital – which boasts the fastest travel times nationally – was about 12 minutes.

The figures show it took Mansfield residents 38 minutes to reach a hospital, 17 to get to a secondary school, eight to reach a food store and 11 minutes to get to the nearest large employment centre on foot or via public transport in 2019.

In Ashfield, it is 35 minutes to a hospital, 16 to a secondary school, eight to a food store and 12 to get to the nearest large employment centre on foot.

In comparison, it would have taken Londoners about 27 minutes to reach a hospital, 13 to a secondary school, six to a food shop and seven minutes to work.

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Long way to go

Paul Tuohy, Campaign for Better Transport chief executive, said the figures showed there is a ‘long way to go’ in ensuring everyone can access the places they need to go by public transport.

He said good, affordable public transport is key to creating social and economic equality.

A DfT spokesman said the Government is committed to levelling up transport and driving up standards across the UK.

He said: “Our £96 billion Integrated Rail Plan is boosting train travel in the North, we’re investing £5.7bn to improve city links, £3bn to build greener and more reliable bus services, and £4.8bn through the Levelling Up Fund for vital services and infrastructure.”

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