Page last updated at 08:40 GMT, Friday, 19 September 2008 09:40 UK

Busy roads 'mean fewer friends'

People living on streets with a lot of traffic have 75% fewer friends than people in quieter areas according to research carried out in Bristol.

The University of the West of England (UWE) study claims people living on busy roads experience a "considerable deterioration of local social lives".

Researcher Joshua Hart investigated three streets with light, medium and heavy traffic.

UWE is recommending more investment in public transport, walking and cycling.

Traffic is like a mountain range, cutting you off
Bristol resident

Mr Hart, who carried out the study as part of an MSc in transport planning, said: "Many residents revealed that they experience sleep disturbances, no longer spend time in the front of their homes, and curtail the independence of their children in response to motor traffic.

"This study shows that the deterioration of neighbouring in this country may well be down to our own travel habits.

"We created this problem, and now we have a responsibility to solve it."

One of the interviewed residents, from Muller Road in north Bristol, said: "Traffic is like a mountain range, cutting you off."

A similar study was carried out in 1969 in San Francisco and reached similar conclusions, but UWE say this is first time such research has been carried out in Britain.

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