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A Spatial and Statistical Analysis of Commuting to Work in the UK: 1991, 2001 and 2011

Murphy, Thomas Michael (2016) A Spatial and Statistical Analysis of Commuting to Work in the UK: 1991, 2001 and 2011. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

There is a relative lack of academic research related to spatial and sociodemographic variations in commuting propensities, patterns and behaviours. This is surprising given that commuting is carried out, often daily, by the vast majority of individuals in employment. The expenditure of time and money travelling to and from work on a daily basis means that commuting is often a relatively important part of many people’s behaviour, with the nature of an individual’s commute impacting upon their lifestyle, both directly and indirectly. One of the key sources of information about commuting behaviour and patterns is the population census in the United Kingdom, through which travel to work characteristics are captured resulting in large and complex datasets that are disseminated by the census agencies as aggregate data (i.e. stocks of commuters based on where they live), interaction data (i.e. flows of commuters from where they live to where they work) and microdata (i.e. individual records of commuters). Spatial and sociodemographic variations in commuting propensities, patterns and behaviours, although often recognised in an everyday sense, have not been the subject of much academic research and are far from fully understood. With this in mind, this research employs spatial and statistical methods on the three aforementioned datasets to analyse spatial and sociodemographic variations in commuting. Geographical Information Systems have been used to visualise spatial variations in commuting propensities and patterns at both national and regional levels. Simple Linear Regression has been employed to examine the correlations and potential relationships between commuting indicators and important continuous socioeconomic variables. Binary Logistic Regression models have been calculated to demonstrate how commuting behaviours vary according to sex, age group, ethnic group and a host of other important categorical sociodemographic variables. Amongst other findings, the thesis has found that there was an increase in the national commuting rate between 1991 and 2011, that there was a general increase in very long-distance commuting over the same 20 year period, that there was a general decrease in the prevalence of commuting by public transport between 1991 and 2001 but a general increase between 2001 and 2011 and that substantial changes in commuting propensities and patterns have occurred in the Leeds City Region. The findings from the research have been used to make some recommendations for implementation of policies by national, regional or local governments or any other organisations with a responsibility to supply and maintain transport networks.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > School of Geography (Leeds)
Depositing User: Dr Thomas Michael Murphy
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2016 11:34
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2016 11:34
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/15400

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