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The impact of migration on transport and congestion

The impact of migration on transport and congestion

Flavia Tsang
Charlene Rohr
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 109
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    The impact of migration on transport and congestion
    Book Description:

    This study examined evidence on how migration is likely to impact transport networks and congestion. The research was comprised of two phases: a literature review followed by empirical analysis using UK data.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-7951-0
    Subjects: Sociology, Technology, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
    Flavia Tsang
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Table of figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Table of tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xiii-xvi)

    The objective of this study was to understand the likely impact of economic migrants from outside the EEA on transport networks and congestion. We addressed this question through two phases of research: a literature review followed by an empirical analysis.

    ‘Economic’ migrants are defined as those who have come to the UK with the primary purpose of working. Those from outside the EEA typically hold Tier 1 or 2 work permits. However, since there is a dearth of literature that focuses specifically on these groups and their transport needs, we looked at literature on migrants more generally.

    Through our targeted...

  7. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  8. CHAPTER 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-2)

    The current coalition government of the UK aims to reduce overall net migration (i.e. including migration flows of British, Other European Economic Area (EEA) and non-EEA nationals) to an annual level of tens of thousands by the end of the current Parliament (MAC, 2010). To help achieve this goal, it has commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to advise on limits on Tier 1 and Tier 2 migrants who are assessed by the points based system.³ The MAC report ‘Limits on Tier 1 and Tier 2 for 2011/12 and support policies’ recognises the many contributions of non-EEA Tier 1 and...


    • CHAPTER 2 Background
      (pp. 5-6)

      The first part of this report, which reflects work undertaken in the first phase of a study to understand the likely impact of migration on traffic congestion, looks into evidence on transport patterns of migrants and impacts on transport and congestion from existing literature. After a brief discussion on methodology, the rest of Part one is structured as follows. Chapter 3 discusses the observed travel patterns of migrants in terms of a range of characteristics, including mode choice, car ownership, licence holding, and location decisions of individuals. Because there is little UK-focused research on migrants’ travel, we present the known...

    • CHAPTER 3 Travel behaviour of migrants
      (pp. 7-14)

      In order to use Dustmann and Frattini’s cost-benefit framework – the framework used by the MAC – we need to understand the current level of congestion on the UK’s transport networks. Specifically, if migrants travel on uncongested transport links their impact on congestion is likely to be negligible, whereas if they use congested or near-congested links then they would add additional costs to other travellers, either through longer journey times caused by greater congestion on the road network or through increased discomfort resulting from increased crowding on public transport. Therefore, to understand the impact of migrants’ travel we need to look at...

    • CHAPTER 4 Travel of ethnic minorities in the UK
      (pp. 15-18)

      US evidence shows that the travel patterns of migrants are similar to those of racial and ethnic minorities (Tal and Handy, 2010). Because of the dearth of literature looking at the specific travel patterns of migrants in the UK (academic and grey literature included), in this chapter we review available evidence about the travel patterns of different ethnic groups.

      However, we note that recent migrants might differ in important ways from people who are of the same ethnic group who are not migrants. For example, Smart (2010) included race as an explanatory variable in his multinomial logistic mode choice models...

    • CHAPTER 5 Conclusions from the literature review
      (pp. 19-20)

      The MAC is most interested in the travel behaviour of ‘economic’ migrants from outside the EEA (i.e. those who have come to the UK with the primary purpose of working and hold Tier 1 or 2 work permits). However, there is no available literature that focuses on these groups specifically, so we look at literature on migrants more generally.

      This literature review on migrants’ travel behaviour has found that migrants’ travel is strongly associated with the use of non-car-driving modes, namely public transport, walking, cycling and car sharing. In particular, the high level of public transport usage of migrants makes...


    • CHAPTER 6 Introduction
      (pp. 23-24)

      The first part of this report looked into the available evidence on the travel patterns of migrants and impacts on transport and congestion from existing literature.

      We found that there is a dearth of literature on UK migrants’ travel. Most articles written on the subject of migrants’ travel patterns are from the United States, with a few from Canada, Australia, Norway and Sweden. The transferability of findings from studies conducted outside the UK to the UK context is questionable. In particular, mobility culture in the US, Canada, and Australia is very different from that in the UK, where car driving...

    • CHAPTER 7 Definitions, methods and data
      (pp. 25-26)

      In the following empirical analysis, unless otherwise stated, migrants are defined by non-UK nationality. Nationals of EEA or Switzerland are labelled as ‘EEA migrants’ for brevity. Those from the rest of the world are labelled as ‘non-EEA migrants’.

      The European Economic Area (EEA) covers Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK. Additionally, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are included, despite not being members of the European Union (EU), as their...

    • CHAPTER 8 Migrants’ travel behaviour
      (pp. 27-40)

      This chapter considers, in turn:

      Where in the UK do migrants live and work?

      How frequently do they travel?

      What are the key characteristics of their travel to work?

      We provide descriptive statistics on the travel behaviour of three population groups: UK nationals, EEA migrants, and non-EEA migrants.

      Congestion occurs when travel demand exceeds capacity, and the problems are generally location specific. On a typical day in the UK, during most hours, most parts of the road and public transport network function well with little congestion. However, congestion is a major problem during peak hours in major urban areas, with...

    • CHAPTER 9 Impact analysis
      (pp. 41-62)

      The previous section looked at migrants’ travel behaviour. This section considers the impact of their travel on the transport network. This chapter considers in turn the impact of migrants’ travel on car, bus, national rail and underground.

      We seek to quantify these impacts as much as possible. The impact analysis of car use draws on the Department for Transport’s (DfT’s) guidelines, in which a wide range of externalities is considered: congestion, infrastructure damage, accidents, local air quality, noise and greenhouse gases. Indirect taxation, such as fuel duty and VAT on fuel, are also taken into account.

      As for the impact...

    • CHAPTER 10 Conclusions
      (pp. 63-68)

      The objective of this study was to provide an evidence-based analysis on the impact of migration on the demand for transport networks. The research was conducted in two phases. The first phase reviewed relevant literature (Part one) and the second phase (Part two) analysed relevant UK data.

      In the first phase of this study, we found scant evidence from UK studies on migrants’ specific travel pattern and impact. This finding highlighted the need for original UK-focused analysis.

      In the second phase of this study, we undertook empirical analyses based on UK data. The main data source was the Annual Population...



    • Appendix A Databases and search terms
      (pp. 77-80)
    • Appendix B Data scoping
      (pp. 81-86)
    • Appendix C Results of the multinomial logit model
      (pp. 87-90)
    • Appendix D Marginal external costs for cars: values before aggregation
      (pp. 91-91)