London commuter belt
The London commuter belt is the metropolitan area surrounding London, from which it is practical to commute to work in the capital. It is also known as the London metropolitan area, or Southeast metropolitan area. 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 city centre. The belt currently covers much of the South East region and part of the East of England region, including the home counties of Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Surrey, Kent and Essex, and, by several definitions, Hampshire, West Sussex, East Sussex and Bedfordshire.
The population of Greater London and those counties adjacent to the green belt was 18,868,800 in 2011. Much of the undeveloped part of this area lies within the designated Metropolitan Green Belt, which covers nearly all of Surrey, eastern Berkshire, southern Buckinghamshire, southern and mid Hertfordshire, southern Bedfordshire, south-west Essex, and western Kent. In addition, three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (the Chiltern Hills, Surrey Hills and North Downs AONBs) surrounding the Thames basin are within the commuter belt.
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." has a population of 9,294,800 (2005 estimate).
Environs of Greater London
There are 17 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 M25 motorway or are within 15–20 miles (24–32 km) of Charing Cross.
Adjacent districts often share 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.
London Larger Urban Zone
According to Eurostat the population of London's Larger Urban Zone is 11.9 million, making it the largest in the European Union. The districts that are considered parts of this Larger Urban Zone are listed here: no districts in Bedfordshire, Hampshire or Sussex are included. Several large conurbations fall just outside the zone: Reading, Luton, High Wycombe and significant parts of the Aldershot and Crawley Urban Areas.
|Region||County||Districts within London's larger urban zone||Districts outside London's larger urban zone|
Urban Areas within the commuter belt
The following table lists Urban Areas considered part of the London Commuter Belt with populations over 20,000. The Basingstoke, Sittingbourne, Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath urban areas are not considered part of the commuter belt, according to World Gazetteer, though Leighton Buzzard is.
- "Greater South East needs strategic investment to secure future". London Development Agency. 18 June 2007.
- London Assembly - London in its Regional Setting (PDF)
- "Metropolitan Area Populations". Eurostat. 30 August 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
- BBC News - The new commuter belt. 18 July 2006.
- Travel to Work Areas (TTWAs) Beginners' guide to UK geography, Office for National Statistics
- 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)
- "British urban pattern: population data" (pdf). ESPON project 1.4.3 Study on Urban Functions. European Spatial Planning Observation Network. March 2007. p. 119. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
- "2011 Census - Built-up areas". ONS. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
- Calculator for commuter travel times to London from the Home Counties
- London Travel to Work Area mapped with others
- A list of towns considered part of the commuter belt according to World Gazetteer