A History of the Ministry of Information, 1939-46

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APPENDIX 2. Types of journey

In the present inquiry an additional question about the type of journey was asked, in order to find out what proportion of workers had to make indirect or round-about journeys to get to work, and whether this factor was related to dissatisfaction.

The difficulties of getting precise information on this point were realised, and investigators were told to ask informants to describe their journeys in detail and to classify the journey as one of three types:

(1) In to centre and out

In this category were placed those who took one bus or conveyance travelling towards (though not necessarily all the way to) the centre of the town, and then had to change to another going in a different direction away from the centre of the town.

(2) Round-about

Those who travelled first away from the centre of the town and then back towards it, or who had to travel round the edges of the town in an indirect way, whether or not they had to change to another conveyance.

(3) Direct

Those who travel more or less in a straight line all the way, whether or not they pass through the centre of the town or change conveyances.

This is, of course a rough classification but there are some considerable differences in time taken and the extent of dissatisfaction amongst those with journeys of the different types.

The question was asked only of those workers who used public transport services and who lived and worked in the same town. Those living in other towns or in rural areas were not asked.

Type of journey % those using public transport who live and work in the same town
In to centre and out 17
Round-about 13
Direct 67
No information 2
Sample: 1299

Thus, about two-thirds had direct journeys and 30% had to make indirect or round-about journeys.

Breakdown by region shows differences in two regions. It should be noted that the numbers to whom the question applied were not great enough in the case of all regions to give statistically significant results. There may, therefore, be differences which would show up had the samples been larger.

In London, 78% had direct journeys and 21% indirect or round-about, and in the South West 56% (+ or - 8) had direct journeys, 43% having indirect or round-about journeys.

Type of journey by time taken

% of those using public transport and living and working in the same town
Time taken: Less than 15 mins. 15 - 30 mins. Over 30 mins.
In to centre and out 4 15 25
Round-about 4 11 20
Direct 86 72 54
No information 5 2 1
Sample: 134 718 443

It will be seen that nearly half of those with journeys of more than half an hour had to make indirect or round-about journeys whereas of those who took less time travelling to work a greater proportion had direct journeys.

Type of journey by opinions on transport

% those using public transport and living and working in the same town
Satisfied Dissatisfied
In to centre and out 15 21
Round-about 9 18
Direct 73 60
No information 3 1
Sample: 723 488

39% of those who were dissatisfied had indirect or round-about journeys as against 24% of those who were satisfied. Or these results may be put in another way, as below:

% those having -
Opinion Indirect or round-about journeys Direct journeys
Satisfied 43 61
Dissatisfied 47 33
Doubtful 9 6
No information 1 -
Sample 400 873

A higher proportion of those with direct journeys were satisfied, those with indirect or round-about journeys being more frequently dissatisfied and doubtful.

It would seem, therefore, that the type of journey is a factor influencing attitudes to transport, and also that considerable travelling time might be saved if more direct means of transport were available to a substantial proportion of workers.

It is not possible, of course, to assess precisely the importance of this factor as no information about the distances travelled is available, but the results given above suggest it is of some importance.

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