Centre for Rural Economy


Commuting in Berwick upon Tweed

Long distance commuting is becoming more and more prevalent in today’s highly mobile society, and evidence suggests that rural residents tend to have longer commutes than average.

Moreover, research had found that in-migrants to rural areas were more likely to commute than longer-term residents. Undertaking long distance commuting journeys was thought to affect the behaviour of individuals, for example, in terms of the degree to which they are able to actively participate in local community and voluntary sector activities in the community in which they live. These increased levels of commuting were also occurring at a time when climate change and sustainability debates were rising up the political agenda, particularly in relation to the sustainability of rural communities vis-à-vis urban communities.

This project explored these questions through case study research in Berwick upon Tweed. Berwick is strategically located mid-way between the growing city regions of Edinburgh and the Lothians and Tyne and Wear. The town is close to the A1 and it has a station on the main East Coast rail line.

Through the use of a questionnaire survey of rail commuters using Berwick station, the project explored the following research questions:

What is the impact of commuting on the lifestyles of these individuals (e.g. in terms of local spending, participation in local community life, household and family responsibilities and relationships)?


Final Report: Berwick Commuting