THOUSANDS more cars are owned by people in north Essex than a decade ago, new figures show.

Entire communities are facing little choice but to use a car, according to the RAC, which says drivers feel public transport "simply isn't practical or doesn't meet their needs" in many areas of the country.

Figures from the Department for Transport reveal there were 92,684 car registrations for addresses in Colchester and 76,905 in Tendring in June this year.

That number is up from 80,408 in 2010, an increase of 15%, in Colchester and up from 67,545 in 2010, an increase of 14%, in Tendring.

It means there is one car for every 1.7 adults in Colchester and for every 1.6 adults in Tendring.

There were 84,784 car registrations for addresses in Braintree in June this year. That number is up from 76,218 in 2010, an increase of 11%.

The rise of cars in north Essex reflects the national picture which has also seen increases in local authority areas with the highest proportions of deprived neighbourhoods.
Across Britain, car ownership has risen 11% from 2010.

RAC’s Report on Motoring this year found 68% of people said a car was essential for shopping and 59% for meeting with friends and family elsewhere in the country.

Spokesman Rod Dennis said: “Even before the pandemic, drivers told us they were becoming more, not less reliant on their cars.

"It’s easy to see why. As well as the obvious benefits a car brings for families in particular, many drivers have felt for a long time that public transport either simply isn’t practical or doesn’t meet their needs, with services often seen as too expensive and running too infrequently."

The DfT says it is investing £27 billion into its road network over the next five years.

The department is also promoting the use of ultra low and zero emission vehicles in support of the Government's commitment for net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
This includes encouraging the use of "more sustainable transport".