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Explaining developments in commuting patterns to central London during the 1980's

By Maria Ines Fae


The main objective of this thesis is to identify and understand the key factors involved in the changing patterns of commuting into Central London during the\ud period 1981-89, in particular through a case study of Kent. The questions addressed here are threefold: (i) what changes in the temporal and spatial patterns of work-trips can be identified and related to changes in the employment structure of Central London, population and employment\ud relocation, and change in the rail attributes; (ii) to what extent the attributes of the transport system, the location of people and jobs, and the specialisation of the Central London market have contributed to the changes in Central\ud London commuting during the 80's; (iii) which other factors, apart from the ones listed above, might be identified as playing a role in the patterns of worktravel\ud to Central London.\ud \ud This thesis initially addresses the qualitative aspect of the changes in the commuting patterns, in which a descriptive examination of the data set is carried out. This first analysis aims to provide the necessary background to investigate the interaction between the demand for rail commuting and the distribution of jobs and population. The second part of the work is comprised\ud of a quantitative analysis carried out through a model which aims to explain the level and the spatial distribution of commuters.\ud \ud The framework developed here proved to be powerful enough to shed some light on the understanding of the changes in the patterns of commuting between Kent and London during the 1980's. The results given by the model showed that it can be an useful tool to explain the long run effects of\ud population and jobs location on the commuting patterns from Kent. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, the rail demand from particular zones was found to be very elastic with respect to improvements in services to those zones,\ud disregarding the compensating changes elsewhere and allowing for long run population and job changes. Another important finding was that Mid-Kent presented significant levels of commuting to Central London alongside the\ud expansion of the local economy in the area. This is explained by the overall migration of people in the metropolis according to life cycle, and the availability\ud of employment opportunities provided by the relevant switch of jobs in Central London

Publisher: Institute for Transport Studies (Leeds)
Year: 1993
OAI identifier: oai:etheses.whiterose.ac.uk:645

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