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Method and distance travelled to work

How people travel around the county has important implications for the environment, their health and wellbeing and household costs.

Herefordshire is one of England’s most rural counties and is relatively lacking in public transport infrastructure with only four railway stations (Colwall, Hereford, Ledbury and Leominster).  

The provision of sustainable transport infrastructure to encourage modal shift to more sustainable forms of travel such as walking and cycling, particularly for short distance journeys, assists in encouraging healthier lifestyles and hence improved physical fitness as well as tackling congestion and air quality.  

  • The 2021 Census provides information about distance travelled to work and method of transport.
  • It is not possible to directly compare the travel to work data from the 2021 Census with the previous Census (2011) because the ONS has widened the age range (from 16-74 in 2011 to 16 and over in 2021).  In addition, the 2021 Census was conducted during a time of a nationwide lockdown in the face of the coronavirus
    (COVID-19) pandemic.
  • As a result of the pandemic, it is inevitable that the number of people recorded as working at or from home had increased significantly since the previous census – 22,600 (26%) workers worked mainly at or from home during the week before the census (compared with 31% nationally), which is to be expected given the occupation profile of the county
  • The pandemic also contributed to changes in the way people travelled to work, including fewer people using public transport.
  • Of the 75,900 who travelled to work, the majority (78%) either drove or were a passenger in a car or van; 14% walked; 4% cycled; 2% used public transport and 2% used a motorcycle, scooter, moped or other method.
  • A quarter (25%) of Herefordshire’s residents travel less than 2km to
    work, which is a higher proportion than across England and Wales
    as a whole (20%). At the other end of the scale, Herefordshire also has a higher proportion (21%) who travel 20km or more, compared
    to England and Wales (15%).