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The Impact of Rail Fare Increases on Locational Behaviour.

By R.L. Mackett


Many people who work in London live over 30 miles from their jobs and travel to work by rail. Their decisions about the choice of home and job have been influenced by the cost of travel at the time of the decision and the anticipated changes, with subsequent implications for the value of housing. Over the past ten years there has been a decline in employment in central London, with a concomitant growth in employment in the surrounding area, leading to a shift from rail to road for the journey to work and implications for the economic base of central London. Further rises in the real cost of rail travel to central London will have serious implications for 'the lower paid commuter, who tends to live to the east of London in north Kent and south Essex, who will be faced with a declining living standard through having to pay extra fares or move closer to London and so incurring higher housing costs or a lower housing standard. This will have a further impact on house prices, making the problem even worse for those who respond later. \ud \ud The implications of these effects for analysis of the underlying behavioural response to rail fares increases are complex and are being studied in a major research project in the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds. The immediate need is for longitudinal data on people's past responses to changes in transport costs, and so a survey will be carried out as part of the project. Any responses to rail fare charges will be made against the dynamic background of birth, death, marriage, household formation, promotion and so on, hence information will be gathered on all these processes, as well as the potentially transport cost sensitive processes of residential and employment relocation, entry and leaving the job market for marginal workers and car purchase and sale. These processes will all be represented in an accounting framework which will underpin the other models to be used, and relates to both an existing integrated land use transport model at a macro scale, and more recent ideas about simulating individual behaviour at a micro level. There are complex issues involved in modelling these processes, including representing the choices and decisions of individuals, and linking these together within the household, relating individual behaviour to observed changes at the macro level and representing the effects of time. These issues are currently being examined in the project and are discussed in the paper

Publisher: Institute of Transport Studies, University of Leeds
Year: 1980
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