City network for one-day business trips, 2009


Observations for policy

Possibilities for one-day business trips are important advantages for a place or territory. This makes it possible to integrate regions that otherwise would not be part of the business network. As virtual contact is not considered a replacement for direct contacts and negotiations, these one day trips play an important role.

Policy context

The 2011 European White Paper on the Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area stresses that a lot needs to be done to complete the internal market for transport where considerable bottlenecks and other barriers remain. The White Paper argues the need to readdress these issues – how to better respond to the desire of our citizens to travel, and the needs of our economy to transport goods while anticipating resource and environmental constraints. One potential access point might be the ability to connect quickly and reliably with suppliers, clients and customers is vital in today’s just-in-time economy.

Map interpretation

Actual travel times allowing for at least 6 hours at the destination and return on the same day shows that places in the European core and metropolitan hubs have an advantage.

High levels of integration can be observed within the European core, including large parts of the UK. The Iberian Peninsula is linked to the core, and also the links between the core and eastern countries like Poland and Hungary are clearly visible. But in all these cases the intensity is much lower than what is the case inside the core. There are fewer flights and less choice for business persons from those parts of Europe.

The Iberian Peninsula, Scandinavia, the Baltic States, Ireland and Sicily in Italy (blue lines) are only able to connect to the core through an airport. There are some key hubs evident for such countries: Madrid, Copenhagen, Warsaw and Rome.

In more peripheral countries and regions day return business trips to foreign cities are simply not possible. Possibilities for one-day trips from or to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey do not exist. Distance remains here a barrier requiring additional resources of time and money to cross.

Air travel is the main transport mode for links between metropolitan areas. However, metropolitan areas without a strong international airport can have good accessibility based on rail connections, in particular at high-speed. In most of the European core, rail provides a viable international business option (shown by the density of red lines) linking cities in Germany, France and Benelux.

Rail connections are important for national inter-urban connections within some countries, for example, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the UK. One day trips by a combination of rail and air (shown in pink) is of particular importance for metropolitan regions at the fringe of the core of Europe such as Prague in Czech Republic or Oresund in Denmark and Sweden.

Concepts and methods

The calculations for this map are based on actual connections and travel times in 2009. A one-day business trip means having at least 6 hours available at the destination while leaving home after 5am and being back home before 11pm on the same day. The transport modes considered are rail, air or a combination of rail and air based on actual timetables.