Long Distance Commuting in Scotland
David Connolly, Lucy Barker, MVA, UK
The research aims to fully understand the pattern, trends and impacts of long-distance commuting across Scotland using a combination of Household Survey, 1991 and 2001 Censuses and new qualitative research.
MVA produced a comprehensive topic report on long distance commuting in Scotland for the Scottish Executive, predominantly using available data from the Scottish Household Survey (SHS) and 2001 Census. For the purposes of the analysis long-distance commuting was defined as trips to work or full-time education greater than 15km, though the research also considered the full profile of current commuting distances and analysed travel-to-work and travel-to-education separately. The aim of the research is to fully understand the pattern, trends and impacts of long-distance commuting across Scotland.
Geographical Information Systems with Ordance Survey road networks were used with to accurately calculate distances between home and work. The Transport Model for Scotland (TMfS) was used to estimate journey times between home and work zones and the corresponding car and public transport journey costs. TMfS was also used to estimate the effects of long-distance commuting on the Scottish transport network.
Focus groups with long-distance commuters were used to explore in more depth the attitudes and life-style decisions which influenced the decisions to become long distance commuters.
The analysis and reporting covered:
1. the geographic distribution of current long distance commuting, by mode;
2. analysis of trends in long distance commuting in Scotland ? this included a comparison of 1991 and 2001 census travel to work data, analysis of time-series data from the SHS and consideration of TMfS forecasts of future commuting lengths;
3. Understanding the circumstances, characteristics, behaviour and attitudes on the long distance commuter through focus groups and analysis of SHS data;
4. Quantifying the impact of long distance commuting on the Scottish transport network including traffic levels & congestion, environmental impacts and public transport patronage and revenue; and
5. Consideration of the relationships between long-distance commuting and relevant current and future Scottish Government policy.
Association for European Transport