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Travelling to Work in Lincolnshire

Headlines

  • Just over two thirds of Lincolnshire's working population travelled by car or van as their usual method of travel to work in 2011.
  • There has been a decline in those travelling to work by public transport in Lincolnshire between 2001 and 2011 compared to an increase nationally.
  • 12 per cent of the population of Lincolnshire worked from home in 2011 compared to just under 11 per cent nationally.
  • Lincolnshire has a higher proportion of its working population travelling to work by foot or cycle than nationally.

Introduction

This analysis looks at the responses on travel to work from the 2011 Census and compares them with those from 2001. It identifies changes in patterns of travel to work and examines the differences between the local authorities in Lincolnshire in relation to England, East Midlands and the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (GLLEP) area.

In order to make the results comparable to 2001 data, the age range used as the base for the results is 16-74 year olds who are in employment. This group is referred to as the working population throughout this paper. For the purposes of comparison to 2001, working from home is defined as those whose main working base is home. This is explained further in the Working From Home section.

Travel to Work Methods

Figure 1 highlights the differences between Lincolnshire and its comparators in terms of makeup of travel to work method.

Travelling to work by car or van was the most common method of commuting in Lincolnshire in 2011, with 68 per cent (227,894) of the working population either driving or travelling as a passenger in a car.

Just over 3 per cent of the population travelled by public transport, while almost 15 per cent travelled by foot or bicycle. The remainder of the population worked mainly from home (12 per cent) as their main commuting method.

Figure 1 – Method of Travel to Work

Source: 2011 Census, Office for National Statistics

Nationally, 54 per cent of the working population travelled to work by car, with 16 per cent of the working population using public transport and 11 per cent working mainly from home.

The disparity between Lincolnshire and the national picture in terms of those using public transport can largely be attributed to commuters in London, where 50 per cent of all those travelling to work used public transport.

Compared to the 2001 Census, there were a number of notable overall trends for Lincolnshire, namely the increase in car use and decrease in use of public transport as the method of travel to work. As can be seen in Figure 2, these trends are the opposite of the national trend which saw public transport use increase and car use decrease.

Figure 2 – Percentage point change in travel to work method 2001-11

Source: 2011 Census, Office for National Statistics

What is notable across the board is the increase in those who now work from home with a 1.5 percentage point increase since 2001 nationally. In 2011, the local authorities in England with the highest proportion of home workers were rural in nature, so it is unsurprising to see Lincolnshire have a slightly higher proportion of those who work from home than the national average. Rural areas tend to have farms and small local businesses which mean home working is more prevalent than in built up areas.

Other noticeable trends include the decline in those walking/cycling since 2001. Once more this appears to have had more effect in rural areas where the population will tend to live a further distance from their place of work. This change could indicate the impact of the recession in these areas in that people have had to look for work further afield and now their travel to work is too far to walk or cycle.

Car, Van, Taxi, Motorcycle

The total number of people whose predominant method of travelling to work was by car in Lincolnshire in 2011 was 227,894, of which 207,591 drove themselves, while 20,303 were a passenger. This equates to 68 per cent of the working population in Lincolnshire travelling by car in 2011, an increase of 1.4 percentage points on 2001.

As can be seen below in Table 1, car use is particularly high in the local authority districts (LADs) of West Lindsey, South Holland and South Kesteven. All of Lincolnshire's LADs apart from Lincoln were above the national average for this travel to work method.

Table 1 – Method of Travel to Work by Local Authority District

Source: 2011 Census, Office for National Statistics

Area Driving Car or Van (%) Passenger in Car or Van (%) Motorcycle (%) Taxi (%)
Lincolnshire 62.1 6.1 0.8 0.4
Boston 59.7 11.2 0.8 0.4
East Lindsey 60.0 4.7 0.7 0.3
Lincoln 52.2 7.4 1.1 0.6
North Kesteven 66.2 4.8 0.9 0.2
South Holland 66.4 6.5 0.6 0.2
South Kesteven 63.0 5.4 0.6 0.4
West Lindsey 66.6 5.1 0.7 0.2
North Lincolnshire 66.8 6.6 1.0 0.2
North East Lincolnshire 60.8 7.0 0.9 0.7
GLLEP 62.7 6.3 0.8 0.4
East Midlands 61.9 5.9 0.7 0.4
England 53.7 4.9 0.8 0.5

The proportion of the working population who travelled as a passenger exceeded the national average in many of the county's LADs. Boston is one of only four local authorities in England to have had an increase in commuters travelling to work by car or van as a passenger between the 2001 and 2011 census, with 11 per cent of the working population travelling as a passenger, an increase of 3.2 percentage points on 2001. This increase is likely to be related to the numbers of international migrants employed in agricultural work around Boston and for many the communal transport they use to their location of work.

Referring to Figure 3, car ownership is above the national average in Lincolnshire, with 82 per cent of households having access to one or more cars, while the national average stands at 74 per cent in 2011. This is perhaps unsurprising given the rural nature of the county, making car travel essential in some areas. North Kesteven has the highest level of car ownership of any district in the county, with over 87 per cent of households having access to one car or more.

In terms of change since 2001, Lincolnshire has had an increase of 2 percentage points on 2001 compared to a 1 percentage point change nationally. The biggest increase in car ownership in Lincolnshire is in Lincoln where there has been a 3.3 percentage point increase on 2001 in those who own one car or more. Despite this, around 7 in 10 people in Lincoln have access to a car, which is still below the national average.

Figure 3 – Households with access to one or more car

Source: 2011 Census, Office for National Statistics

Public Transport

Public Transport was the usual travel method for almost 11,500 people in Lincolnshire in 2011, 3.4 per cent of the working population. This represents a decrease of 0.7 percentage points on 2001, when just over 4 per cent of the population travelled to work by public transport. This decrease is not reflected nationally, where 16.4 per cent of the population use public transport, an increase of 1.5 percentage points on 2001.

As a large, rural county, it is expected that Lincolnshire does not have as high a proportion of those using public transport as elsewhere in the country. As demonstrated in Figure 4, the national figure is particularly high due to mass transit systems in and around the larger cities, with some parts of London seeing over 60% of the population travelling to work using public transport.

Figure 4 – Method of Travel to Work 2011, Public Transport Breakdown

Source: 2011 Census – Office for National Statistics

Lincoln has the highest use of public transport of all the local authorities in Lincolnshire, with just over 6 per cent of the working population travelling to work by public transport. East Lindsey has the lowest proportion with just 2.2 per cent of the working population using public transport, the majority of which used the bus service.

In both North and South Kesteven, the proportion of the working age population using public transport is around 4 per cent, while in South Holland, Boston and West Lindsey just under 2.5 per cent use public transport as their main method of travelling to work. This perhaps indicates the better access to national rail routes in the west of the county compared to the more isolated eastern and northern parts of the county. This is highlighted in Map 1.

Map 1 – Travel to work method; Train 2011 (%)

Source: 2011 Census, Office for National Statistics

View this data in more detail on an interactive map.

Travelling by Foot or Cycle

In Lincolnshire in 2011, 14.6 per cent of all those travelling to work travelled by foot or bicycle, compared to just under 13 per cent nationally. Of the 14.6 per cent, just under 4 per cent cycled with the remainder travelling by foot. Once more, of all the local authority districts, Lincoln had the highest proportion of those both walking and cycling to work in the county.

Compared to 2001, the proportion of people who cycle to work has decreased in Lincolnshire by 1.8 percentage points, while the national figure has seen negligible change since 2001. As can be seen in Figure 5, the number of those travelling to work by foot in the county has also declined since 2001, however the districts of South Kesteven, South Holland and Lincoln have seen increases in the proportion of those who walk to work.

Figure 5 – Change in Method of Travel to Work 2001-2011

Source: 2011 Census, Office for National Statistics

Working from Home

Working from home, in this analysis, is defined as those whose work base is mainly at home. Therefore, the figures quoted in this document will differ to those published elsewhere on the LRO and ONS websites.

In 2001 people who recorded their place of work as working mainly at or from home were considered to have their mode of travel to work as working mainly at or from home. In 2011, people working mainly at or from home could record, for example, that they travelled to work as a driver in a car or van, despite being based at home (e.g. a salesperson). Whilst this extra information is useful for transport planning it does make comparisons with the 2001 Census problematic.

For the purposes of this analysis, and to make comparisons between the 2001 and 2011 Census, we have used the 2001 definition and therefore the figures presented in Table 2 represent those whose work base is mainly at or from home.

Table 2 – Travel to Work Method – Working from Home 2011 (%)

Source: 2011 Census, Office for National Statistics

Area 2011 2001 Change
Lincolnshire 12.2 10.6 1.6
Boston 9.7 9.5 0.2
East Lindsey 15.9 13.0 3.0
Lincoln 7.4 6.4 0.9
North Kesteven 11.8 10.4 1.4
South Holland 12.4 11.6 0.8
South Kesteven 12.5 10.3 2.3
West Lindsey 14.2 12.2 1.9
North East Lincolnshire 6.9 6.6 0.3
North Lincolnshire 9.2 8.3 0.9
GLLEP 11.0 9.6 1.3
East Midlands 10.5 9.0 1.4
England 10.6 9.2 1.5

Almost 41,000 people in Lincolnshire worked predominantly from home in 2011, equating to 12.2 per cent of the working population. Nationally, 10.7 per cent of the working population worked from home as their predominant work base. Due to the rural nature of Lincolnshire, farming and local small businesses dominate leading to higher proportions of those whose work base is at home. This explains the lower proportions of those working from home in less rural areas of Lincolnshire such as Boston and Lincoln in Table 2.

Compared to 2001 there has been an increase in those working from home across the board. Improvements to mobile communications, internet connectivity, and other communication technologies over the last decade could be one of the main factors in this increase. The largest increases in Lincolnshire can be seen in East Lindsey and South Kesteven, while South Holland, Boston and Lincoln have seen comparatively small increases.

Further information on the 2011 Census

You can find more information about the 2011 Census and what it means for Lincolnshire from our dedicated 2011 Census Pages. Alternatively, visit the Office for National Statistics Census 2011 page.

Sources

Office for National Statistics.

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