Transport for New Homes – Building Car Dependency

Investigating housing developments in England to find out if they are built around sustainable transport - or the car
Transport for New Homes

Focus of work

Transport for New Homes campaign for new housing developments to promote walking, cycling, public transport and to avoid dependence on cars. They want new developments linked to sustainable transport networks to reduce traffic, address climate change, and congestion, and provide good, healthy living environments.

In 2018, Transport for New Homes published a flagship report examining new housing developments across England. Although some of them were still being built, they found that many were car-based. 

Four years later, their new project ‘Building Car Dependency’, will revisit these housing developments to find out if things have changed and if they have now prioritised walking, cycling and public transport.

They hope the project will highlight the changes needed to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to ensure that the Government prioritises active travel.


Published in 2022, their research report examined 20 greenfield housing developments, finding that most are trapping communities into car dependence – with as many as two to three parking spaces per home.

Key achievements:

  • Over 7,000 report downloads
  • Achieved extensive national press coverage, including within The Guardian, BBC News, and Big Issue
  • Large planning consultancies and transport professionals recognised their proposals
  • Presented the findings at events in London, Bristol and Birmingham – attendees were members of the public, local councillors, community groups and planning consultants
  • Spoke at the Birmingham Transport Action Network conference and FutureBuild 2023
  • Worked with Create Streets to look at places that could be re-imagined around sustainable transport, instead of major road building
  • Submitted evidence for Government consultations on the NPPF and the Levelling Up and Regeneration Build 2023.
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