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Examining transport accessibility to key local services in England

About this tool

Local public transport provision influences how people can access the services they need, including healthcare, education, employment, leisure and business facilities.

The Department for Transport (DfT) and other organisations have identified that investment in local transport supports economic growth, helps build sustainable communities and works to reduce congestion. However, the nature and availability of local transport services in England is locally determined and highly variable.

Our transport accessibility tool explores how access to different local services across England is enabled or restricted by the local public transport provision in an area.

Use this tool to explore:

  • our transport accessibility metric which brings together public journey transport times to multiple services and compares them to the national average
  • public transport journey times to the following local services:
    • schools (primary and secondary)
    • further education establishments
    • acute hospital trusts
    • GP surgeries
    • large employment centres and town centres
    • health and education services rated as good or outstanding
  • public transport journey times within: different local authorities, Parliamentary constituencies, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and clinical commissioning groups (CCGS)
  • the difference in public transport journey time to reach a good/outstanding rated service compared to a service with any quality rating
  • charts which compare public transport journey times with metrics of deprivation and rurality to look at the interplay between transport accessibility, rurality and deprivation

The transport accessibility tool is an analytical piece, examining whether, when combined with rurality and deprivation, and the quality of the services themselves, variation in journey times are compounding unequal access to services in England. It aims to add insights, share knowledge and contribute to discussion around local transport provision and service delivery. It demonstrates new insights available to government through innovative use and analysis of data it collects.  It is not a value for money assessment.

The tool uses the latest available national journey time data, based on the situation in 2017.

More information on the background, purpose and key findings of the analysis presented in this tool can be found in our insights document. More information on the data, methods and limitations of the analysis presented in this tool can be found in our technical guide.

Instructions: how to use this tool

  • start by selecting a service type from the first dropdown
  • select which journey time map layer you want to see. Choose between all service locations, service locations rated as good or outstanding or the difference in journey times between all and good or outstanding service locations
  • a map will appear in the panel to the right showing the journey times you have selected

Visualisation


More information

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do these data come from?

The data underlying this tool have been obtained from a number of sources:

  • Our analysis used modelled journey times between 7am and 10am, via the public transport network, to various locations in England. Journey times represent the situation in 2017 as this was the most recent data available. These journey times were produced by the Department for Transport (DfT) using a commercial software package called TRACC owned by Basemap. DfT defined the parameters of this model.
  • School and further education inspection data were obtained from publicly available reports published by the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted).
  • Acute hospital trust and GP surgery inspection data were provided to us by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
  • The English Index of Multiple Deprivation 2019 data are published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government.
  • The 2011 Rural-Urban classification data are published by the Office for National Statistics.

For more details on the data used in this tool, please refer to our published technical guide. A copy of the data underlying this tool is available in csv format to download.

Why has the NAO published these data?

The purpose of the analysis presented in this tool was to explore variation in transport accessibility to different types of services and locations across England. The NAO examines the value for money of public spending. We consider that value for money involves achieving the intended outcomes for citizens in a way that is economical, efficient and effective, which includes being sustainable and delivering equitable services for users. In the context of this work, local public transport influences how people can access the services they need. People’s ability to access local services influences health, education, social and economic outcomes for individuals. As such, understanding how people travel sheds light on one of the factors influencing whether services meet people’s needs.

This work is an analytical piece aiming to add insights, share knowledge and contribute to discussion around local transport provision and service delivery. It demonstrates new insights available to government through innovative use and analysis of data they collect. It is not a value for money assessment.

This tool has been released alongside two supplementary documents. Our published technical guide outlines the data, methods and limitations of our analytical approach, while our insights document provides information on the purpose and key findings of the analysis we undertook to develop this tool.

Why do the data cover only England?

Transport is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. This NAO tool uses data made available to us by the Department for Transport. The data cover journeys made in England only as this as the extent of Department for Transport administration.

Where can I get more information?

More information on the background, purpose and key findings of the analysis presented in this tool can be found in our insights document. More information on the data, methods and limitations of the analysis presented in this tool can be found in our technical guide.

My question is not answered here, where can I get more information?

Phone the NAO Enquiries point +44 (0)20 7798 7264.

Alternatively, you can email general enquiries to enquiries@nao.org.uk or use our online contact form.