For a hassle-free drive, Telford’s the place – but we'd give Northampton a miss. 

Out driving today? Stay away from Northampton, if you can. The town has been voted the UK’s least car-friendly town. A survey ranked the UK’s 50 most populated towns for petrol prices, cost of parking, availability of parking spaces, concentration of speed cameras, and car crime.

Telford in Shropshire earned first place in the survey, earning high marks for its ease of car parking, cheaper-than-average petrol and low car crime. By contrast Northampton has some of the UK’s dearest petrol, too few parking places for its size, and the ones there are cost too much to use.

And, while it is not the worst place in the UK for car crime – that dubious honour gs to Manchester – Northampton has more than its share of problems. Bob Seery, Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member for highways and transportation said: ‘Northampton has become a hub for the country: it is right in the centre. There are major pressures on traffic passing through the town,’ he told the BBC. ‘Those do present an opportunity for petrol suppliers to increase their prices because they have got a market.’

Dundee ranked as the second best place for drivers, followed by Newcastle, then Sunderland and Belfast. Virgin Money published the survey, compiled by its research team.

Those with a need for speed are advised to avoid Reading because it has more speed cameras than anywhere else outside London. By contrast, they are very few and far between in Hull.

The most expensive place to park outside London was Bristol, where a two-hour stopover costs £5.

Manchester gets the unwelcome title of the UK’s worst address for car crime, because almost nine car crimes occur in a year per 1000 people. Swindon rates as the safest, with just over two occurrences.

Top 10 towns

1. Telford

2. Dundee

3. Newcastle

4. Sunderland

5. Belfast

6. Blackpool

7. Derby

8. Portsmouth

9. Poole

10. Aberdeen

Bottom 10 towns

50. Northampton

49. Cardiff

48. London

47. Birmingham

46. Liverpool

45. Nottingham

44. Sheffield

43. Leeds

42. Reading

41. Edinburgh

Stephen Jury


June 25, 2008

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