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Video Summary: Method of Travel to Work in England and Wales

Released: 13 February 2013

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Transcript – Method of Travel to Work in England and Wales

This is a short video looking at method of travel to work in England and Wales.

Using these people, we will start by looking at the breakdown of how workers in England and Wales aged 16 to 74 travelled to work in 2011. People in work were asked “How do you usually travel to work? Tick the box for the longest part, by distance, of your usual journey to work”.

1.4 million people stated that they worked mainly at or from home. This represents 5 per cent of workers.

15.3 million people said that they drove to work in either a car or van, accounting for 58 per cent of workers.

A further 1.4 million people, or 5 per cent of workers, commuted to work as passengers in cars or vans.

Walking was the second most common method, with 2.8 million people. This equates to 11 per cent of workers.

1.9 million people, or 7 per cent of workers, commuted by bus or coach.

1.4 million people reported to commute by train and 1 million people commuted by light rail. These represent respectively 5 per cent and 4 per cent of workers.

All other methods of travel to work made up approximately 5 per cent of the population.

Focusing on these other methods, 762 thousand cycled to work,

214 thousand people commuted by motorcycle,

138 thousand used a taxi to get to work,

and 171 thousand workers commuted to work by other methods such as by ferry.


We will now look at how the method of travel to work varied across the English regions and Wales in 2011.

Wales had a higher proportion of workers reporting to commute by car, taxi or motorcycle than any English region, at 75 per cent.

The East Midlands was the English region with the highest proportion of workers travelling by these methods at 73 per cent.

At 31 per cent, London had by far the lowest proportion of workers travelling to work by these methods.

However, at 50 per cent, London had the largest proportion of its workers reporting to commute by public transport.

The South West had the lowest proportion of its workforce who commuted by such means, at 6 per cent, and Wales had 7 per cent of its workforce in this category.

At 17 per cent, the South West had the highest proportion of its workforce commuting by bicycle or on foot.

The North East had the lowest proportion of its workforce that worked mainly at or from home, at 4 per cent.

At 7 per cent, home working was most common in the South West.

All of the regions and Wales had less than 1 per cent of workers commuting by other methods.


Now we will look at methods of travel to work for local authorities. In 2011, the majority of workers in most local authorities in England and Wales drove to work.

At 75 per cent, the areas with the highest proportion of their population reporting to drive to work were South Derbyshire, South Staffordshire, North West Leicestershire and East Dorset.

These were followed by North Warwickshire at 74%. 


London boroughs had the highest rates of public transport use.

With 66 per cent, Newham had the highest proportion of the working population using public transport.

This was followed by Lambeth, Wandsworth, Haringey and Southwark.


With 48 per cent, the City of London had the largest proportion of its workforce walking to work.

This is followed by Isles of Scilly, Norwich, Exeter and Scarborough.

At 30 per cent, Cambridge had the highest proportion of workers that cycled to work.

Oxford, Isles of Scilly, Hackney and York complete the top five.


We will now look at how the changes between 2001 and 2011 vary across the local authorities of England and Wales. To allow comparison with the 2001 Census a second method of travel to work was generated. Here, if a person stated that they worked from home in the workplace address question, they were designated as home working for their method of travel to work.

At 7 percentage points, Blaenau Gwent had the largest percentage point increase in the proportion of workers driving to work.

This was followed by Rhondda Cynon Taff, up six percentage points in 2011 from 2001.

London and the South East saw a decrease in the proportion of workers who drove to work.

At minus 10 percentage points, Hackney had the largest percentage point decrease. This was followed by Southwark, with a minus 9 percentage point change.


The largest rises in the proportion of workers using public transport were in London.

Newham, at 11 percentage points, had the largest percentage point increase.

This was followed by Hounslow, up 9 percentage points in 2011 from 2001.

Finally, at minus 3 percentage points, Rotherham and Darlington had the largest decreases in the proportion of workers using public transport.

This video summary accompanies the Method of Travel to Work in England and Wales article.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

  1. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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