JOURNEY times to key services take longer in the south west than anywhere else, new figures show.

London was the region with the shortest average travel time, at 12.0 minutes. This was nearly 10 minutes quicker than the South West, which had the longest.

Getting to services such as schools, hospitals and local shops take a quarter of an hour on average to reach on foot or public transport in Bournemouth, figures reveal.

But people living outside the conurbation in East Dorset could expect journey times of nearly half an hour.

In East Dorset, journey times to these sites averaged 27.0 minutes on foot or public transport in 2017, the year covered by the latest statistics – longer than the average 21.3 minutes across the South West.

This was the slowest time since the measurements began three years earlier.

Each year the Department for Transport calculates journey times from neighbourhoods across England to eight local services by walking or on public transport.

The measure represents a typical Tuesday's travel in October, based on road networks, traffic speeds and public transport timetables.

Destinations range from job centres to GP surgeries and food shops.

Food shops were the most accessible service – with journey times averaging 6.1 minutes – followed by centres of employment with between 500 and 4,999 jobs (9.3 minutes) and primary schools (9.7 minutes).

At the other end of the scale were hospitals. Buses, trains or pounding the pavement would take you half an hour to reach them.

Council chiefs have called on the next government to ringfence funding for transport networks to tackle travel times which are getting longer nationwide.

However, The Department for Transport attributes the longer average journeys to changes to the data used in the calculations.

Updated datasets show fewer GP surgeries but more walking routes in towns and cities, it says. A Local Government Association spokesman said: "The next government needs to give councils long-term guaranteed infrastructure funding to deliver the improvements in our roads and public transport networks that we require.

"It should also provide ongoing investment in local bus services, which can be a lifeline for our most vulnerable residents, whether that is to go shopping, collect medication, attend doctor appointments or socialise with friends.

"Giving all councils the power to enforce moving traffic offences would also help to reduce congestion and improve journey times."