London commuter belt

London commuter belt

The London commuter belt is the metropolitan area surrounding London, England from which it is possible to commute to work in the capital. It is alternatively known as the London metropolitan area [ [ London Assembly] - London in its Regional Setting (PDF)] or the Southeast metropolitan area. [ [ Mayor of London] - London Plan (PDF, 7.6MB)] It should not be confused with Greater London or the Greater London Urban Area.


The boundaries are not fixed; they expand as transport options improve and affordable housing moves further away from London. [ [ BBC News] - The new commuter belt. 18 July 2006.] The commuter belt currently covers much of the South East region and part of the East of England region, including the Home Counties of Kent, Surrey, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex. The population of Greater London and these adjacent counties was 13,945,000 in 2001. [ [ Demographia] - Southeast England Population by Area from 1891]

Green belt

Much of the undeveloped part of this area lies within a designated metropolitan green belt so further significant urban development is generally resisted by local authorities and the Planning Inspectorate. It was expected that had this policy not been adopted during the 1940s and 1950s the area now perceived as the commuter belt would have been fully urbanized by about 1980, and the administrative boundaries of Greater London might well have been more extensive.

The Green belt currently covers nearly all of Surrey, eastern Berkshire, southern Buckinghamshire, southern and mid Hertfordshire, southern Bedfordshire, south-west Essex, and western Kent.


The approval, in principle, of a second runway at Stansted Airport and the introduction of domestic train services along High Speed 1 between St Pancras railway station, Stratford International station in East London and stations at Ebbsfleet Valley and Ashford in Kent are expected to pull the area's limits outwards in north easterly and south easterly directions respectively bringing greater symmetry to the commuter belt as seen from space.


Travel to Work Area

The London Travel to Work Area, defined by the Office for National Statistics as the area for which "of the resident economically active population, at least 75% actually work in the area, and also, that of everyone working in the area, at least 75% actually live in the area." [ [ Travel to Work Areas (TTWAs)] Beginners' guide to UK geography, Office for National Statistics] has a population of 9,294,800 (2005 estimate). [ [ State of the Cities Database Report on the Urban Competitiveness Theme for: - London TTWA (LA)] State of the Cities Database - Department for Communities and Local Government (Mid year population estimates on page 4 of the report)]

Environs of Greater London

There are seventeen local government districts that share a boundary with Greater London in the East and South East regions. Most districts are entirely, or have sections, within the bounds of the M25 motorway or are within 15-20 miles (24-32 km) of Charing Cross. Adjacent districts often share some characteristics of Outer London such as forming part of the continuous urban sprawl, being served by the London Underground, being covered by the London telephone area code, until 2000 forming part of the Metropolitan Police District and having a relatively high employed population working in London. These districts are:

Areas to the west of London also come within the commuter pull of Reading.

ONS Greater London Urban Area

The Office for National Statistics includes the following urban sub-units from adjacent regions in their "Greater London Urban Area" :South East Region
*Banstead / Tadworth
*Caterham and Warlingham
*Epsom and Ewell
*Esher / Molesey
*Sunningdale / Ascot
*Virginia Water
*Walton and Weybridge
*Woking / ByfleetEast Region
*Bishop's Stortford
*Hemel Hempstead
*Kings Langley
*South Oxhey
*Waltham Abbey

Adjacent sub-regions

The East of England London commuter belt sub-region is defined as the whole of Hertfordshire together with the Essex districts of Brentwood, Chelmsford, Epping Forest, Harlow and Uttlesford. [ [ North Hertfordshire] - A Housing Strategy for the London Commuter Belt Sub-region 2005 - 2008 (PDF)]

The South East England London fringe sub-region is defined as a large proportion of Surrey including all of Spelthorne, Runnymede, Woking, Elmbridge, Epsom and Ewell and parts of the districts of Surrey Heath, Guildford, Mole Valley, Reigate andBanstead, and Tandridge; and part of the Sevenoaks district of Kent. [South East RA - [ London Fringe Sub-region] ]

Further out

Beyond these districts are dormitory towns and ribbon developments which have occurred around major roads and railway lines whose economy relies entirely on the capital. Even further still are other towns with an economy outwith that of London but which nevertheless serve as commuter bases. The vast majority lie within East and South East England. However, the high price of property in even these places has forced some commuters to travel into London from towns and cities in locations as far away as the East and West Midlands, South West England and South Wales.

In recent years, the rapid growth of low cost airlines has even seen workers commuting to London from the North of England and Scotland.

List of towns

Indicative and by no means exhaustive list of towns in the area:

Location map+|United Kingdom
caption = Locations in the commuter belt: Southend to the east, Horsham to the south, Didcot to the west and Cambridge to the north
float = right
width = 250
places =

ee also

* Home counties


External links

* [ Travel to Work Area mapped with others]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • London commuter belt — Aire urbaine de Londres L aire urbaine de Londres (en anglais London metropolitan area[1] ou Southeast metropolitan area [2] ou encore London commuter belt) désigne l aire urbaine située autour du Grand Londres pour laquelle il existe un réseau… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • commuter belt — UK US noun [C] mainly UK ► an area around a city where many people who work in the city live: »In the London commuter belt, house prices rose by up to 13.6% …   Financial and business terms

  • Commuter Belt — Aire urbaine de Londres L aire urbaine de Londres (en anglais London metropolitan area[1] ou Southeast metropolitan area [2] ou encore London commuter belt) désigne l aire urbaine située autour du Grand Londres pour laquelle il existe un réseau… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • London (disambiguation) — London is the capital of England and the United Kingdom.London may also mean:PlacesPlaces in the United Kingdom*London, the capital city of the United Kingdom **City of London, the small, ancient city (and root of most other Londons) **London… …   Wikipedia

  • London — This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. For other uses, see London (disambiguation). London From upper left: City of London, Tower Bridge and London Eye, Palace of Westminster …   Wikipedia

  • Commuter town — Commuters waiting for the morning train in Maplewood, New Jersey, to travel to New York City, New York A commuter town is an urban community that is primarily residential, from which most of the workforce commutes out to earn their livelihood.… …   Wikipedia

  • London Borough of Croydon — For other places called Croydon, see Croydon (disambiguation). For the historic town located within the London Borough which gives the name, see Croydon. London Borough of Croydon   London borough   …   Wikipedia

  • London Borough of Sutton — Infobox London Borough | name = London Borough of Sutton short name = Sutton imagename = status = London borough | area rank = 310th area km2 = 43.85 ons code = 00BF | adminhq = Sutton ethnicity = 89.2% White 4.7% South Asian 2.6% African… …   Wikipedia

  • Commuter rail in North America — A Metra train in Chicago …   Wikipedia

  • Greater London — Grand Londres Grand Londres Géographie Statut Région Autorité unitaire (formel) Comté cérémonial Surface Total 1579 km² Démographie Population Total ( …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.