Welsh run cars 'by going into debt'

Welsh drivers are only running their cars by heading into debt, warn charities which are urging politicians to tackle "transport poverty."

The Access Denied report said transport policy was focused on the needs of motorists even though 25% of homes are without a car.

Thanks to rising costs more than a million people in Wales must spend at least a tenth of their income to have a car, and people are forced by "a lack of alternatives" into choosing between debt and being cut off from jobs, healthcare, shops and schools.

Thousands have been forced into ownership they cannot afford with the assumption that everyone has easy access to a car, said Lee Waters, of transport group Sustrans Cymru.

Such a dilemma is worsened by the costs involved in running the car itself, particularly with necessities likecar insurance cover.

"It is shameful that not having a car in many parts of Wales severely limits your chances in life," he said, adding that to tackle poverty seriously, people must be able to access jobs and services no matter where they live.

Charity bosses led by Sustrans Cymru - and backed by Age Cymru, Citizens Advice Cymru and Save the Children - urge politicians to tackle the "growing problem" of "transport poverty".

Copyright Press Association 2012