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Commuting - how far would you go?

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Commuting - how far would you go?

Postby Dave » Sun 12 Jun 2016 08:54 GMT

Kay sent me a link the other day to an interesting piece in The Guardian about the commuter footprints of various cities in England & Wales - depicted by showing the percentage of workers in any given MSOA (statistical area) who commute to those cities.

How far is too far? The distance workers travel to cities - mapped

As you'd expect, London's footprint is huge - there are pockets of Norfolk, the East Midlands and even Cornwall where about 20% of workers travel to Greater London, although the researcher point out that the real long-distance commuters probably don't do that on a daily basis.

Most of the other cities shown are a good deal more compact. Birmingham's radius extends for roughly 50 miles or so, with the odd outlier like southern Shropshire. Manchester, Bristol, Bradford, Liverpool and Sheffield all have similarly concentrated footprints, though Manchester's is a bit more diffuse, stretching up to northern Lancashire.

Considering it's smaller than Manchester, Leeds has a comparatively large reach. So do York, Norwich, Cardiff, Plymouth and particularly Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Must be something to do with the relative lack of other major economic centres to generate work. Newcastle in particular appears to generate most of the jobs for most of Northumberland, even in the remote north-west of the county.

My current commute is about 35 miles, but then again I'm in SE England and the public transport is relatively good. (It still takes me 90 minutes each way, but about half an hour of that is walking.) If I were trying to do that commute almost anywhere else in England, I suspect I'd probably have to drive it.

How far would you travel?
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Re: Commuting - how far would you go?

Postby ruggie » Thu 30 Jun 2016 15:57 GMT

It would be interesting to drill down into other aspects of this, and see it in different ways. What are the actual numbers of the working population in each of these cities? Could he break down the type of work? If some jobs (e.g. my son's video editing work is one of a multitude of occupations concentrated in London) are heavily concentrated in certain cities, that affects the likelihood of people commuting,
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