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Census - questions on commute does anyone worry wfh will impact future planning/investment

3 replies

MsFogi · 22/03/2021 12:10

The census asked us to answer as we are working now and many office workers who have a commute would therefore not be able to note their use of trains/tubes etc. Does anyone else feel that this was a mistake in that the data collected is not going to be of any use for future planning and the government will have failed to collect the data on how people travelled/worked either before the pandemic or expect to work after the pandemic?

OP posts:
Pyewackect · 22/03/2021 12:16

The proof of the pudding will be commuter numbers post Pandemic. Not just from one source altho that is exactly what Beeching did. Gathered a lot of data on rail use , especially branch lines, on successive Sunday's.

Takingabreakagain · 22/03/2021 12:21

Yes I didn't understand why we weren't answering about normal practice. I will be going back to the office at least part time or as much as I can. So the information that I'm at home in these exceptional circumstances seems irrelevant.
I suppose some will continue to work from home through choice or through changes made by their workplaces.

KihoBebiluPute · 22/03/2021 23:29

The census is always a snapshot as of one specific day. Decisions about transport planning will not be based upon it directly but it is important that everyone answers in the same way to allow for extrapolation.

So - census population of 67 million all answer about their travel to work and working hours etc as of yesterday. Then in 2 years time a survey can be done which only asks 6.7 million people to give details about their commuting and working (10% of the population). That collects actually accurate information - anything you answered this week about what your working pattern and commute will be like in 2 years time would be sheer speculation. However the data from that 10% of people asked for details in that survey can then be correlated and normalised with the census data and the patterns for the other 90% of the population can be derived.

To some extent it doesn't exactly matter what you are asked exactly. The value of the census is the fact that you have such a large percentage of the population all answering the same questions, as it allows for accurate benchmarking for the other surveys done over the next 10 years.

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