Good transport connections matter

Good transport connections are important so residents of new communities are linked to work, shops, colleges, and are able to visit wider families and friends. Public and sustainable transport networks are a key part of social infrastructure and previous new settlements have been criticised for an over-reliance on cars, which has left many residents feeling isolated and cut off.

Evidence shows that housing and employment are the main motivations for people relocating to a new community. Therefore local job opportunities need to be integrated into a new settlement both in terms of attracting employers to nearby business parks or office space, and providing flexible space for local entrepreneurs and social enterpriseGlossary: A social enterprise is a profit-making businesses set up to tackle a social or environmental need to be based in the community. Good public transport connections and flexible and adaptable space for local enterprises are two key requirements to support local employment and the local economy.

Research from Joseph Rowntree Foundation has identified:

" issue commonly raised is the pattern of bus routes, which increasingly operate on a hub and spoke pattern, which means that even where transport is available, people have to change buses in the town centre in order to get to work (DCLG 2006; Griggs et al 2008; Atkinson and Williams 2003; Sanderson 2006; Green and White 2007). Another common issue is the importance of local labour markets and local delivery systems. Most people in Britain look for work within a limited geographical area."

Local initaitives to help workless people find and keep paid work, Joseph Rowntree Foundation (2008)

A key issue for the provision of public transport in new communities is the population density and viability of services. Work by the Commission for Integrated Transport suggests that at 100 people per hectare a bus service begins to be viable, while at 150 people per hectare a bus service is fully viable. This begins to support some of the housing density arguments: 100 people per hectare equates to approximately 40 dwellings per hectare (assuming 2.5 people per dwelling) and 150 people per hectare equates to approximately 60 dwellings per hectare (assuming 2.5 people per dwelling).