A Study on the Urban Accessibility of National Trunk Highway System in China

  • School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China

Received date: 2005-05-16

  Revised date: 2005-09-10

  Online published: 2005-11-25

Supported by

National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40201018; National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, No.40125003


Based on the "shortest path matrix", the selected characteristic indices-distance, time and speed, this paper analyses the current spatial structure of accessibility in the cities which the national trunk highway system connects, and impacts the speed index made. The cities connected by the national trunk highway system turn out the obvious "core-periphery" model with speed index. The top 50 most accessible cities are concentrated in the middle of eastern China, and the bottom 50 ones are located at the periphery such as northwestern, southwestern and northeastern China. The spatial structure of accessibility measured by time index shows a concentric layer structure with attribute falling gradually from interior to periphery. Moreover, the spatial structure of accessibility in cities connected by the national trunk highway system has obvious boundary effect, which shows wave transformation under different speed conditions. The evidence shows that the change in speed acceleration of the national trunk highway system with an urban accessibility of 60-80 km/h is significantly greater than that of 80-100 km/h. For a given city, averaged 33 cities can be reached within eight hours--a normal working day. Most of the cities with the maximum urban access in eighty hours are concentrated in eastern China, averaged 70 cities. The cities with the minimum urban access in eighty hours are located in the northwestern, southwestern, northeastern and southeastern parts of China. Besides further construction, accelerating the speed of the future national trunk highway system will bring about more impacts on the spatial structure of the cities in China.

Cite this article

CAO Xiaoshu, XUE Desheng, YAN Xiaopei . A Study on the Urban Accessibility of National Trunk Highway System in China[J]. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2005 , 60(6) : 903 -910 . DOI: 10.11821/xb200506003


[1] Liu Jisheng, Chen Yanguang. A study on fractal dimensions of spatial structure of transport networks and the methods of their determination. Acta Geographica Sinica, 1999, 54(5): 471-478.
[刘继生, 陈彦光. 交通网络空间结构的分形维数及其测算方法探讨. 地理学报, 1999, 54(5): 471-478.]

[2] Roger S L, Scott D. Accessibility and the Irish Islands. Journal of Geographical Association, 1996, 81(357): 111-119.

[3] Handy S L, Niemeier D A. Measuring accessibility: on exploration of issues and alternatives. Environment and Planning A, 1997, 29: 1175-1194.

[4] Roger V L, Spiekermann K. Accessibility and economic development in Europe. Regional Studies, 1999, 33(1): 1-15.

[5] Geurs K, Wee B. Accessibility evaluation of land-use and transport strategies: review and research directions. Journal of Transport Geography, 2004, 12(2): 127-140.

[6] Murayama Y. The impact of railways on accessibility in the Japanese urban system. Journal of Transport Geography, 1994, 2(2): 87-100.

[7] Javier G, Rafael G, Gabriel G. The European high speed train network: predicted effects on accessibility patterns. Journal of Transport Geography, 1996, 4(4): 227-238.

[8] Dupuy G, Stransky V. Cities and highway networks in Europe. Journal of Transport Geography, 1996, 4(2): 107-121.

[9] Murayama Y. Canadian urban system and its evolution process terms of air passenger flows. Geographical Review of Japan, 1982, 55(2): 380-402.

[10] Jin Fengjun, Wang Jiao'e. Railway network expansion and spatial accessibility analysis in China: 1906-2000. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2004, 59(2): 293-302.
[金凤君, 王姣娥. 20世纪中国铁路网扩展及其空间通达性.地理学报, 2004, 59(2): 293-302.]

[11] Wang Jiao'e, Jin Fengjun. Railway network organization and spatial service system optimization in China. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2005, 60(3): 371-380.
[王姣娥, 金凤君. 中国铁路客运网络组织与空间服务系统优化. 地理学报, 2005, 60(3): 371-380.]

[12] Zhou Yixing, Hu Zhiyong. Looking into the network structure of Chinese urban system from the perspective of air transportation. Geographical Research, 2002, 21(3): 276-286.
[周一星, 胡智勇. 从航空客运看中国城市体系的空间网络结构. 地理研究, 2002, 21(3): 276-286.]

[13] Jin Fengjun. A study on network of domestic air passenger flow in China. Geographical Research, 2001, 20(1): 31-39.
[金凤君. 我国航空客流网络发展及其地域系统研究. 地理研究, 2001, 20(1): 31-39.]

[14] Wang Fahui, Jin Fengjun, Zeng Guang. Geographic patterns of air passenger transport in China. Scientia Geographica Sinica, 2003, 23(5): 519-525.
[王法辉, 金凤君, 曾光. 中国航空客运网络的空间演化模式研究. 地理科学, 2003, 23(5): 519-525.]

[15] Cheng Liansheng. China's new cities and their positions in the urban network. Acta Geographica Sinica, 1998, 53(6): 481-491.
[程连生. 中国新城在城市网络中的地位分析. 地理学报, 1998, 53(6): 481-491.]

[16] Li Siming, Shum Yiman. Impacts of the national trunk highway system on accessibility in China. Journal of Transport Geography, 2001, 9(1): 39-45.

[17] Cao Xiaoshu, Yan Xiaopei. The impact of evolution of land network on spatial structure of accessibility in the developed areas: the case of Dongguan city in Guangdong province. Geographical Research, 2003, 22(3): 305-312.
[曹小曙, 阎小培. 经济发达地区交通网络演化对通达性空间格局的影响: 以广东省东莞市为例. 地理研究, 2003, 22(3): 305-312.]