Virgin Money Car Insurance Ranks the UK's 65 Biggest Cities and Towns on How They Treat Motorists

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Telford is the UK's car friendliest town and motorist in London, Cardiff and Birmingham are driven to despair. Embargoed until 00:01 Friday 26th June 2009

Of course everyone will have their own definition of driving hell whether it is hunting for a parking space, being stuck in a traffic jam or being caught by a speeding camera. Our research attempts to show which cities and towns are best and worst for drivers.

Telford has been crowned the UK's most car-friendly town edging out competition from St Helen's, Southend and Sunderland, new research from Virgin Money Car Insurance shows.

The Shropshire town was rated the best place for motorists for the second year in a row by Virgin Money researchers in the nationwide project which has been monitoring how car friendly the UK's towns and cities are since 2006.

It scored well across the board on the criteria used by researchers including petrol prices, the cost of parking for two hours and the number of speed cameras on main roads into the town or city. The Virgin Money researchers, who assessed the UK's 65 largest towns and cities, also took into consideration the number of car parks and the level of car crime, weighted to reflect the population numbers.

However London, Cardiff, Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh were all rated as unfriendly for drivers with Cambridge, Leicester and Reading also scoring badly.

Grant Bather of Virgin Money said: "The UK's 24 million motorists are often driven to distraction by the frustrations of driving with parking problems, petrol prices and speeding tickets among the biggest issues.

"But not all towns and cities are the same and many local authorities do their best to ensure drivers aren't treated like second-class citizens. Cars shouldn't rule the road but motorists' views need to be taken into consideration.

"Of course everyone will have their own definition of driving hell whether it is hunting for a parking space, being stuck in a traffic jam or being caught by a speeding camera. Our research attempts to show which cities and towns are best and worst for drivers."

The 10 most car-friendly towns in the UK

1. Telford
2. St Helens
3. Southend    
4. Sunderland
5. Belfast
6. Poole
7. Ipswich
8. Blackpool    
9. Dudley
10. West Bromwich

The top 10 least friendly towns

1.London    
2.Cardiff    
3.Birmingham    
4.Glasgow    
5.Edinburgh    
6.Cambridge    
7.Leicester    
8.Reading    
9.Sheffield    
10.Oxford

The best towns and cities for cheap parking are Milton Keynes, Luton, West Bromwich, Dudley and Sunderland while the most expensive include London, Bristol, Manchester, Edinburgh and Oxford.

Aberdeen emerges as the best city for number of car parks per 1,000 people just ahead of Blackpool, Poole, Gloucester and Telford. Motorists are more likely to struggle for car parking spaces in London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds and Glasgow.

The best towns and cities for petrol prices include Ipswich, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Dundee and Norwich while the most expensive petrol is in Cambridge, Northampton, Gloucester, Exeter and Crawley.

Eastbourne, Poole, Colchester and Brighton & Hove are the best for car crime while motorists are most at risk in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Slough.

Notes to Editors

  • Research conducted in June 2009 by Virgin Money researchers using publicly available sources including the Office of National Statistics, local council websites, NCP's website, the Association of British Drivers and http://www.petrolprices.com. Totals for each town/city were calculated using rankings for petrol prices, the cost of parking for two hours, numbers of congestion alerts, vehicle crime statistics, numbers of council car parks and number of speed cameras on major routes into the town or city.

For further information:

Grant Bather at the Virgin Money Press Office
+442071111012
Grant.Bather (at) virginmoney.com

Kevan Reilly/Billy Partridge, Citigate Dewe Rogerson
+442076389571

About Virgin Money:
Virgin Money is Virgin's financial services arm and was established in 1995.

Virgin Money has over two million customers and offers a wide range of financial products across lending (e.g. credit cards and personal loans), savings (e.g. deposits, investments and pensions) and protection (e.g. life insurance, home insurance and car insurance) to the UK market.

Virgin Money Personal Financial Service Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). Registered Office: Discovery House, Whiting Road, Norwich NR4 6EJ. Registered in England no. 3072766. Entered on the Financial Services Register, Register Number: 179271

About Virgin Money Car Insurance:
Virgin Money Car Insurance is available online at http://uk.virginmoney.com/virgin/car-insurance/ and over the phone via +448000510588

Virgin Car Insurance, Virgin Home Insurance, Virgin Pet Insurance and Virgin Travel Insurance are promoted by Virgin Money Personal Financial Service Ltd and underwritten by UK Insurance Ltd, The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds, LS1 4AZ. Virgin Money and UK Insurance Ltd are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Subject to underwriting criteria. Calls may be monitored and recorded.

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