Source: adapted from Janelle, D.G. (1968) "Central Place Development in
a Time-space Framework", The Professional Geographer, Vol. 20, pp. 5-10.
Data for 2000 and 2010 based on expedia.com direct scheduled flights.
Regional Space / Time Convergence, (London - Edinburgh, New
York - Boston)
The above graphs displays a process of space / time convergence between
two city pairs, London and Edinburgh (located 520 km apart) and New
York and Boston (located 310 km apart). Both city pairs went through a different
space / time convergence process, which is indicative of time
differences in the introduction of new transport infrastructure
and services. With the development of stage-coach
services in the 18th and early 19th centuries, travel times declined
substantially. However, by the 19th century stage-coaches reached
their optimal efficiency and could no longer provide time improvements.
The development of rail networks initiated a new phase of space / time
convergence and by the early 20th century travel times were significantly
lower than previous decades. The development of highways and then air
transportation systems from the mid 20th century reduced travel times
to 100 minutes between London and Edinburgh and to 70 minutes between
New York and Boston. By 2010, travel times scheduled flight times between
New York and Boston remained unchanged mostly because of airport
capacity issues. However, scheduled flight times between London
and Edinburgh improved by 10 minutes, leaving a travel
difference of only 10 minutes between both city pairs even if
London-Edinburgh is 200 km further than New York - Boston. It is unlikely that these figures will change anytime
soon. Contemporary space / time convergence dominantly takes place at
a global level and are derived more from intermodal improvements
than from modal speed improvements.