And the UK's commuting hub is... London!

One map shows how the capital distorts the country's daily commute.

by Adam Gale
Last Updated: 05 Nov 2014

No, the weather hasn’t gone crazy. This is a map from Savills’ Residential Analyst Neal Hudson, showing the average direction and scale of commutes, using data from the 2011 England and Wales Census. Each arrow represents daily movement out of a local authority (LA). The length of the arrow shows how many people are travelling, and the direction shows, well, the direction.

Unsurprisingly, London dominates the South like the terrible Eye of Sauron, ensnaring hapless hobbits and Home Counties Mondeo drivers alike. The arrows exaggerate the story, though.

For a start, there’s a universal and quite logical movement away from the sea, where, apart from the odd fisherman or rigger, no one works. So, while it might appear for instance that people are commuting from Cornwall to London, for instance, they’re probably just commuting inland to Devon.

Then there’s the North. Although it lacks one centre, it’s quite possible to see the arrows pointing inland (again) to the cities of the Midlands up to the Leeds-Manchester axis, much as they do to London.

Really, the map shows where the major cities (and therefore the jobs) are. Of course London draws in more people than anywhere else, but that’s because it’s already transformed the surrounding counties into its commuter hinterland. Charming though it is, Oakham in Rutland doesn’t have a hinterland. Yet. Who knows, after all, where HS27 or HS28 will go?

London? Where's that? If you ignore the South for a moment, you can clearly see people are commuting away from the sea towards the cities. 

If, on the other hand, you ignore the North, London's supremacy as a commuter destination becomes somewhat harder to deny.

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