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Road Accessibility in Border Regions: a Joint Approach

Ana Condeço-Melhorado () and Panayotis Christidis
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Ana Condeço-Melhorado: Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Networks and Spatial Economics, 2018, vol. 18, issue 2, 363-383

Abstract: Abstract In their national contexts border areas are peripheral and generally located in sparsely populated territories, far from large urban agglomerations. Higher transport costs are therefore incurred by residents and businesses in these areas when connecting with central markets, and this reduces their accessibility to economic activities and more specialized services. Investment in transport infrastructure is a policy instrument used to lessen the remoteness of border regions and increase their accessibility. This study analyses the accessibility of the border regions of Portugal, Spain and France between 1960 and 2010. Accessibility of border regions is compared to national averages and between national and international connections. The market potential and daily accessibility indicators have been selected for this analysis using a joint approach that offers a complementary view of the changes, which occurred over this period. Given their peripheral condition, border regions are generally less accessible than the national average. However, results show that transport investments over this 50-year period helped to improve the accessibility conditions of border regions. Most interesting is the fact that many border regions have increased their accessibility levels at a higher pace than the national average, thereby reducing the accessibility gap with the rest of the country. Border regions suffer from lower accessibility to international destinations partly due to poorer network conditions. However, results show that during this period the greater changes largely benefited international accessibility. Differences between the two selected indicators offer a more complex and richer picture of the evolution of the accessibility of these border regions.

Keywords: Accessibility; border regions, Historical road networks, Network analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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