Commuting conditions in the counties of Norrbotten and Västerbotten
Transport Analysis has, as a governmental commission, performed a current state analysis on commuting conditions in the counties of Norrbotten and Västerbotten.
The analysis shows that due to increased labour demand in the coming years major challenges face the two counties:
- A small, ageing and in many municipalities also decreasing population makes it very hard to recruit the necessary labour locally.
- The solution would be to increase the labour force pool by increasing the labour regions through by better commuting opportunities.
- The different transport modes must co-operate better with each other to facilitate commuting between municipalities and across county borders in order to supply reasonable and attractive commuting times.
About 15 percent of the work force commute to another municipality. Those commutes occur foremost between municipalities along the coast or between coastal and inland municipalities. Commuting across county borders are fairly unusual. Commuting between Norway and Sweden occur mostly from Sweden to Norway. With Finland the commuting currents are more evenly distributed for these two counties.
The average commuting distance and travel times per work trip are shorter in the two counties compared to the Swedish average. This confirms the earlier findings of small labour areas, with small distances between home and work while at the same time municipality centres separated from each other by large distances. Distances that are hard to cross in within reasonable travel times.
About 65 percent use the car for a commute in larger municipalities, and 70 percent in smaller municipalities. While commuting using public transport is rare in these two counties, commuting on foot or using a bicycle is more common, about 20-30 percent.
Finally, the report also discuss a number of commuting obstacles in the two counties as well as some suggestions to improve the situation.