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North East has 'safest commute'

Date 26 Sep 2007
Author The Editor

The safest commute in the UK is in the North East, according to research released this week. The study by the RAC Foundation found that the North West had the most hazardous journey to work, while the North East was closely followed by the East Midlands and Yorkshire in the safety stakes. The study measured collision rates per head of population, average travel-to-work times, and carbon dioxide emissions per head of population. By these standards, the North East came out on top for commuter health.

In addition, the research found that nearly three-quarters of people travel to work by car despite the congestion and carbon emissions it causes. 71% drive to work, 11% walk and 8% take the bus. 6% of people travel by rail, 3% cycle and 1% ride motorbikes.

Edmund King, executive director of the RAC Foundation, said: "Action is needed by individuals, employers and the Government to ensure that we get smarter about commuting. The sheer number of car commuters and the lack of alternative transport means that the car will remain the main way of getting to work for the foreseeable future. We cannot ignore this and hope that everyone will take the train. Some people feel that commuting is only a problem in London and South East England, but when other factors such as accident rates are taken into account, our index shows problems elsewhere."

The Northwest took the unwanted title because it had higher casualty rates than London. But Londoners do face the worst carbon dioxide levels and the longest travel times, the study found.

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