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Travel & Transport

Transport, travel and the associated infrastructure required to move about an area are particularly important to those living in rural isolation to access services, education and employment. The Travel and Transport section of the Observatory presents data that shows the reality of rural life and rural service provision.

Travel in rural areas is a key issue affecting residents access to services and employment. The attached spreadsheet is an analysis of the National Travel Survey 2015, looking specifically at the difference between travel in urban and rural England.

The Government has an ambition for increased levels of activity both through cycling and walking.  The following analyses take a look at statistics from the Department for Transport, and shows the position for a selected authority area relative to similar authority types.  The statistics are based on survey results of sampled populations from each authority area.

The Government has an ambition for increased levels of cycling, and it is easy to see how it would be beneficial both in easing road congestion as well as increasing rates of physical activity.  The following analysis takes a look at the use of cycling for non recreational purposes.

Modern life can be fast paced and time pressured.  This is true whether one is living in an urban environment or the contemporary rural idyll.  The following spreadsheet demonstrates how for all key service destinations and for all modes of transport, journeys on average take longer in rural settings. 

The below spreadsheet provides for your convenience a quick lookup of road length by road type in your local authority and region.

Rural local authority areas have lower population densities, but many services need to be provided despite an area potentially having fewer people living there.  This is reflected when looking at winter maintenance fleet data published by the Municipal Year Book (2013/14).  This set of figures clearly demonstrate that the most rural local authority areas require a higher ratio of winter maintenance vehicles to their populations they serve.  This would naturally have a significant cost implication on a per head of population basis.  To check the situation in your area, please use the analysis to select the authority of interest.

Being able to access appropriate employment is vital for any community to thrive, and for a rural community this often comes with the need to travel. This analysis looks at the situation in your area, and may draw some light on issues affecting the different age groups that make up your community.

Parking charges by local authorities bring a valuable source of income for the provision of public services to already stretched budgets.  They are however contentious, and can be seen as detrimental to the viability of town centres, as well as being anti-motorist. This analysis takes a look at the parking operations revenue per head of population for local authority areas between 2009 and 2013.

Car use is a significant mode of transport for many in rural areas, with households very often needing more than one vehicle to fulfil the demands of rural living.

Public transport is a vital link for rural communities to their nearest towns or cities.  Bus services are particularly important in delivering affordable mobility where a lack of personal transport might result in isolation and exclusion from services.

How much more might the rural driver be contributing in motoring tax revenue than their urban neighbour?  The following analysis takes a look at this question, and presents an analysis that attempts to provide an answer.

When measured by distance, our research shows that key services are often further away in rural local authorities.

A brief look at the concessionary travel arrangements provided by Travel Concession Authorities

This analysis presents the average number of cars or vans per household for rural and urban communities

This analysis provides an insight into the usage os Taxis in rural commmunities and compares these trends to urban counterparts.

It is clear that to live in rural areas presents challenges with regard access to services, engaging in business, commuting to work, as well as participating in social activities.

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