Rural accessibility : women in south-west Tynedale
S.W. Tynedale, a remoter rural area of the UK with a history of agricultural and industrial activity, is the location for the analysis of womens / accessibility to rural services and cultural/educational opportunities. Increasing car ownership and the decline in rural services have created difficulties for some rural women in gaining access to opportunities. Changes, through time, in the role of rural women and the space they occupy are analysed in terms of gender relations and the division of labour. Women's access to, and use of, power in S.W. Tynedale reveals a reluctance to seek political office. A survey conducted in 1981, and the 1981 Census data are used to explore the relationship between physical accessibility and the socio-economic, mobility and behavioural characteristics of women. Two indices are constructed to measure private and public transport accessibility, respectively. Although, socio-economic variables relate more to private transport accessibility, mobility and behavioural variables can be better explained in terms of public transport accessibility. A space-time approach is used in which the dimensions of the potential space-time prism in S.W. Tynedale is described and compared with the experiential prisms for three different groups of women. Using case study material an analysis of the behaviour of rural women points to the importance of the constraining and enabling mechanisms of the family support system in explaining womens' accessibility behaviour at different stages in the lifecycle. Through the application of Principal Component Analysis the underlying structure of accessibility is investigated. Nine axes of differentiation are identified including life style, life cycle, community involvement and education. Remoteness and mobility summarise the surveyed womens's location in space and ability to overcome distance. Measures of knowledge of facilities are summarised by three components _ local, town and city orientation from which space-time prisms are constructed. Distinct regional variations are apparent in the use of the resources of space and time. Finally, future possibilities for the accessibility of the two groups of rural women, the carless and the family dependent, are considered in relation to the wider stage of the political economy.