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Britons choosing car over walking

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Car ownership in Britain is on the increase, with a quarter of the population rarely taking long walks, Government figures have shown.

According to Department for Transport (DfT) statistics, the proportion of households in Britain without access to a car fell from 30% to 25% between the period 1995/97 and 2007.

Over the last decade, the proportion of households with two or more cars has risen from 25% to 32% - with older drivers and women motorists on the increase.

The figures also showed that while 58% of those surveyed took a walk of 20 minutes or more at least once a week last year, 24% said they did so less than once a year or never.

Since 1995/97 the proportion of men with a driving licence has remained relatively stable at about 80%, while the percentage of women owning licences has risen from 57% to 63%.

Over the same period, licence-holding among all those aged 70 and over has increased from 38% to 52%

AA public affairs head, Paul Watters, said: "Although the proportion of rural households within a 13-minute walk of a bus stop has gone up by more than 10%, that is still a big trek there and back in the cold and wet for pensioners and mums with toddlers."

© PA Business 2008