Council addressing Coast commuter crisis
A recent report on the social impact of commuting, commissioned by Central Coast Council, by research group Urbis confirms the disturbing fact commuters: spend up to five hours a day getting to and from work,
family breakdown in the region is among the highest in Australia with 9,500 couples experiencing relationship stress with the risk of divorce increasing by 40%, overall commuters suffer increased levels of fatigue, stress and wellbeing issues.
While the social impact of commuting has a human face to it commuting has a substantial negative impact as well Currently, of the 44,200 people who commute 66% travel by car using 250,000 litres of fuel each day
Estimates of the cost to the environment show that over a twelve month period 234,000 metric tons of C02 are released into the air which is equal to burning over 53,000 tons of coal.
The economic impact of 44,200 people spending their income outside the region is difficult to assess but we do know that if those people $10 per day on coffee and lunch the daily loss to the Central Coast is around $400,000.
It is known that half of these commuters earn above $104,000 per annum putting them in the higher income bracket and indicating that these are talented people who would be an asset to any local company.
The lifestyle myth
In every survey that has ever been undertaken as to what and why Central Coast residents like about the region the word "lifestyle" comes out every time.
For those who live, work and play on the Central Coast "lifestyle" has real meaning.
These people spend at the most one hour per day getting to and from work. They actively participate in sport and recreation and are closely involved in their family life.
For commuters "lifestyle" is a mirage. They move to the Central Coast looking for a better life founded, usually, on lower cost housing. They then find that employment is almost impossible to find and in most cases wages are much lower than in the city.
They are trapped in a work-travel-sleep cycle that prevents them having the "lifestyle" they came to the region for.