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Travel to work issues and employment in South Tyneside
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Dr Corinne Mulley
Professor John Nelson
Dr Mark Smith
Mulley C, Nelson JD, Smith M, Grosso S, Du H
Transport Operations Research Group
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This is a report on travel to work patterns in South Tyneside, commissioned from the University of Newcastle by South Tyneside Council. It is presented in two parts; Part 1 gives a review of existing literature relevant to the subject whilst Part 2 presents an analysis of work travel patterns in the district based on census data from the year 2001. In Part 1, principal sources cited are a 2001 MORI study on barriers to work travel, a study on travel to work in the North East carried out by the University of Durham based on the census of the same year, a TWRI report on unemployment in Tyne and Wear and employee surveys of two large employers, the local Council and Hospital. The principal conclusion from this part of the work is that outfows from South Tyneside are to some extent due to the employment profile of the district, which may lead better-qualified and more mobile residents to seek employment in other areas. By contrast, the higher rate of part-time work may restrict many local residents, particularly women, in their commuting distance. The attitudinal surveys drawn on suggested that there were public transport difficulties in reaching certain employment locations outside South Tyneside for non-car users, and hence that residents of some more deprived areas may have relatively limited access to job opportunities. Part 2 of the report begins with a brief discussion of resident population and employment figures by district in, with a short analysis of how these affect general inflow and outflow of work trips. This then moves on to a more detailed presentation of the figures at ward level, using the same format of looking at the population / work balance then seeing how this impacts on work trips, but with additional discussion of mode of transport used. A number of issues are highlighted with respect to travel to work flows and transport availability. A similar analysis is then carried out on a number of key employment destinations both within the Borough and in other parts of Tyne and Wear, in which inflows and outflows are focussed on and broken down by mode of transport used. The main conclusion from the second part of the report is that there apear to be certain structural effects in the distribution of population and employment of South Tyneside which may make access to appropriate work opportunities difficult, particularly for non-car users. Specifically, the 'grain' of the district, in terms of land-use and transport corridors, tends to run east to west, whereas a need may be identified for south to north travel to work flows. The orientation of the main transport routes also appears to be an enabling factor in the significant outflow of work trips to neighbouring districts or other parts of the north east, and in corresponding inflows to local employment centres. This effect would be more of a barrier to the lower-paid and part-time sectors of the workforce, who would be less likely to have access to a car and for whom travel cost and time are likely to be more limiting factors.
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