Travel Times to Five Major English Cities


Communter rail plays an important role in land-value uplift, house prices and therefore household residential relocation. Below are commuter stations serving five major English cities within 45 minutes. Destination entry stations (in red) outline the main employment centres of each city region:

CityStation namesStation owner
LondonPeripheral stations within
Zone 1 and Zone 1-2 boundary
National Rail only
BristolTemple Meads stationNational Rail only
BirminghamNew Street, Moor Street and Snow Hill stationsNational Rail, Transport for London,
future Crossrail
ManchesterManchester Piccadilly, Oxford Road, Victoria,
Cornbrook and New Islington stations
National Rail, Metrolink
NewcastleNewcastle Central, Haymarket,
Monument and St James stations
National Rail,
Tyne and Wear Metro

Identifying stations on the periphery of the employment centre of London involved manually sifting through 71 spatially mapped stations within London’s Zone 1 & 1-2 to identify 26 entry stations. The next step was to identify plausible stations serving that travel centre, by designing a purpose-constructed isochrone algorithm. Firstly, this identified all potential departure stations for trips into London based on national rail mobility data from Association of Train Operating Companies, Tfl’s general journey planner Tranxchange timetable for tube lines and existing Crossrail timetables. Secondly, the fastest direct trip time from each point (given the same input day and arrival time) was retrieved sequentially using the Google Maps API service. As travel times are relative, i.e., specific to a day and time, the trip lengths within this analysis were calculated for peak-hour travel on a workday. The exact workday set was Monday 15.07.19, with arrrival to the first zone 1 station on an incoming rail travel line set to 9.30 am.

The scheduled travel times for the most outlying (measured in Euclidean distance) commuter stations were manually validated against National Rail’s traveller-facing Online Journey Planner. Where possible trains, which would not be suitable for working commutes (e.g. services which have only one fast train service per day) were also manually excluded.

These results are used in the policy report ‘Homes on the right tracks’ (Cheshire and Buyuklieva, 2019).