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Transport Gaps and Barriers to Finding Work

Geoff Riley

7th August 2018

A new and important report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation finds that people in low-income neighbourhoods are willing to travel to work but find commuting options constrained by unaffordable or unreliable public transport. Often, the cost of getting and from work is prohibitive for people in relatively poorly paid jobs.

Read: Tackling transport-related barriers to employment in low-income neighbourhoods

Gaps in local transport networks clearly act as a barrier to employment contributing to higher levels of structural unemployment and also economic inactivity. The time, inconvenience and monetary cost of reaching work has to be considered in the context of low hourly-wage rates. Travelling to work effectively acts as a tax on those who are required to commute to work.

Consider this quote from a 59 year old woman mentioned in the JRF report.

“I’ve been offered loads of jobs online [but] by the time I’ve paid for travel expenses to get there, work in a part-time job on a part-time wage, it wouldn’t be worth my while”. Dewsbury Moor, woman aged 59.

Geoff Riley

Geoff Riley FRSA has been teaching Economics for over thirty years. He has over twenty years experience as Head of Economics at leading schools. He writes extensively and is a contributor and presenter on CPD conferences in the UK and overseas.

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