IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Excess or wasteful commuting in a selection of British cities

  • Frost, Martin
  • Linneker, Brian
  • Spence, Nigel
Registered author(s):

    This research considers the application of an urban zonal travel optimisation model to the actual commuting patterns between residences and workplaces in a selection of large British cities in 1981 and 1991. The model produces an estimate of the average commuting distance required if individuals could exchange residences and workplaces to minimise distance travelled. The proportion of the actual commuting distance above the optimum is defined as excess or wasteful commuting. The existing literature has pointed to some reservations about this methodology. This research fuels this debate and for the first time the importance of inward commuting into the designated city is highlighted. The results indicate that it is the changing form of urban areas, which is exerting the strongest influence on the increasing length of work journeys. It is important to distinguish between intra-urban changes (where trip lengths have increased only slightly) and those outside the city boundaries. Within some cities, recent changes show that workplaces and residences have, on average, moved closer implying greater potential efficiency. Yet, comparing actual travel distance change with change in the theoretically optimum travel distance, it is clear that excess commuting has increased by reasonably significant fractions. On the other hand, when a wider view of the daily urban system is taken, it becomes apparent that the dominant role is being played by the wider decentralisation of employees. This results in increases in average travel distances but these can be shown to be less than the increases in the theoretically optimum average distances which result if travel distances are minimised. The clear effect is for excess commuting to decline in almost all cities over the decade, and sometimes by significantly large amounts.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VG7-3Y8YXXR-4/2/56ee20277da8ebae3900ec5035c4ee8a
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice.

    Volume (Year): 32 (1998)
    Issue (Month): 7 (September)
    Pages: 529-538

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:32:y:1998:i:7:p:529-538
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/547/description#description

    Order Information: Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional
    Web: https://shop.elsevier.com/order?id=547&ref=547_01_ooc_1&version=01

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Genevieve Giuliano & Kenneth A. Small, 1993. "Is the Journey to Work Explained by Urban Structure?," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 30(9), pages 1485-1500, November.
    2. Cropper, Maureen L. & Gordon, Patrice L., 1991. "Wasteful commuting: A re-examination," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 2-13, January.
    3. Hamilton, Bruce W, 1989. "Wasteful Commuting Again," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1497-1504, December.
    4. White, Michelle J, 1988. "Urban Commuting Journeys Are Not "Wasteful."," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 1097-110, October.
    5. White, M.J., 1988. "Urban Commuting Journeys Are Not Wasteful," Papers 88-10, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
    6. Hamilton, Bruce W, 1982. "Wasteful Commuting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 1035-51, October.
    7. Small, Kenneth A. & Song, Shunfeng, 1992. ""Wasteful" Commuting: A Resolution," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt5142n2ts, University of California Transportation Center.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:32:y:1998:i:7:p:529-538. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.