Below are real-life examples of how organisations have found Census data invaluable in planning local provision of transport.
Travel to work analysis
The travel to work census questions provide Highland Council with statistics that support its business planning.
Being able to understand the size and age, health and mobility of communities of varying sizes within the region allows the council to provide a variety of services and functions to meet local needs. This includes defining housing market areas and assessing housing need and demand for the Planning and Development Service and Housing and Property Services.
Cath King Highland Council
"Using the travel to work element of the 2001 census to examine current employment at Dounreay has contributed to the planning information for this strategy"
For example, Highland Council is keen to support people living in Caithness as the nearby Dounreay nuclear plant - central to the Caithness economy for the past 50 years - is decommissioned. It is estimated that Dounreay supports around 2,500 direct and indirect jobs in the local area.
The decommissioning process will see the initial loss of 25 per cent of these jobs within five years and two-thirds within 20 years.
Cath King, Policy Manager with The Highland Council, said:
“The Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership has developed a strategy which aims to take action to mitigate this impact. Using the travel to work element of the 2001 Census to examine current employment at Dounreay has contributed to the planning information for this strategy.”
South Ayrshire Council
Gauging city influence
The information gathered by the census about where people lived a year ago and where they travel to work presented South Ayrshire Council with an opportunity to help the region benefit from its links with Glasgow City.
Chris Doyle South Ayrshire Council
"We used 2001 Census information to map housing relocation patterns....to build a picture of the relationship between Glasgow and South Ayrshire"
South Ayrshire council was particularly interested in how attractive the area was to Glasgow residents considering relocation from the city. Using the 2001 Census, the council could identify the number of people who had relocated from one area of the west of Scotland to another. It was also able to understand patterns of commuting and to use this information to consider how to support services such as housing, transport and schools.
Chris Doyle, Corporate Research and Intelligence South Ayrshire Council, said:
“Thriving cities have a positive impact not just on the people living in them, but also those living and working in the surrounding areas, and in recent years, the Scottish Government has concentrated its economic support to key cities across Scotland to help them flourish.
“We used 2001 Census information to map housing relocation patterns, and together with other data, this helped to build a picture of the relationship between Glasgow and South Ayrshire. Understanding this pattern and how we can plan housing, schools and other community services to meet the needs of residents is vital to the future growth and prosperity of the region.”