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Commute Decisions: The Role of Urban Density, Travel Distance and Public Transport Accessibility

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Document pages: 38 pages

Abstract: This study explored the relationships between urban density, public transport accessibility, and commute mode (car van, public transport, and active [walking and cycling] transport) in urban England and Wales using a novel categorisation of urban density. Research questions were investigated using cross sectional analyses of data from 13,655 commuters with car access in the urban England and Wales from wave 2 of the Understanding Society (2010 2011) study. Distributions of commute modes differed with urban density. Car van commutes were most prevalent in less dense urban regions (smaller city and towns, and major conurbations), while public transport use was more common in more dense urban regions (London). Active transport commutes were the third most common mode and most common both in the least dense (smaller city and towns) and most dense (inner London) regions. Multivariate logistic regression analyses suggested that, with rising urban density and public transport accessibility, commuters were less likely to drive and more likely to use public transport. However, mixed results on the associations with active commutes were found. These results suggest that it might possible to encourage drivers to use more sustainable transport if it were more accessible.

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