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Comparing Welsh market areas.

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Description Fig 2c shows that Cardiff has the largest market area. This is plainly visible from the map. Cardiff also has the longest distance people are prepared to travel of 38.4 miles as shown in the table. Fig. 2b shows that Merthyr has the smallest market area and an average distance of 16.5 miles. Brecon has the second largest market area shown on map Fig. 2a with a distance of 22.3 miles. Explanation Cardiff as expected had the largest market area. This is to be expected as Cardiff is the Capital city of Wales and has a large variety of shops and services, as investigated in hypothesis 1. However, the only suitable newspaper available on a Sunday was a national newspaper. This may have meant that the settlements further away that would have otherwise not appeared were mentioned. This would have increased the size of the market area. The settlements mentioned in the Cardiff newspaper tended to be larger settlements. In accordance with the settlement hierarchy, the larger the settlement, the fewer the number and therefore the further apart they are. This would have also made the market area bigger. Cardiff's market area would also be bigger in size because of the large amount of tourism Cardiff receives. It is a capital city, and the recent developments in Cardiff Bay would attract visitors. On the other hand, by looking at the map Fig. 2c, I get the impression that the market area would have been even bigger if not for the boundary of the sea. ...read more.


Shop Displays 5 4 5 5 Noise 5 4 3 5 Advertisements 5 3 3 4 TOTAL= 100 67 69 82 Limitations The results of this survey may not be quite accurate as they are based on personal opinion and not facts or figures. The survey was taken in different areas of a settlement; the Cardiff survey was done in the centre of the CBD whilst the Brecon survey was done in the outskirts of the CBD. This may have affected the results. Description Cardiff had the highest score followed by Merthyr, and then Brecon. Explanation Cardiff has the highest score as expected. This is because Cardiff as the capital city is a wealthy settlement so would be able to afford a high quality public service for road sweeping and other cleaning services. Cardiff is also designed to attract tourists so the landscaping and street layout would be of high quality. Cardiff's CBD is a pedestrian area, so pollution and noise would be low, and traffic safety and parking high. Planning permission in Cardiff would be difficult to gain, so the CBD is well ordered. The shop displays are high class because only the richest companies would be able to afford land. Land prices in the CBD are high, especially in a capital city. Merthyr has the second largest score. However, this score is only slightly higher than Brecon. This may be because Merthyr is not a very prosperous settlement following the high unemployment levels after the collapse of the mining and steel industry. ...read more.


A good environment shows that the council has extra money to fund what are seen as less important schemes that improve the environment. Cardiff and Brecon had higher environmental scores because they cater fro tourists. Hypothesis 4 was disproved, again because of the role and wealth of the settlement. The wealthier the town, the more attractive it is to businesses. The businesses offer employment and therefore attract people. Demand is high, so house sellers can afford to put up their prices but still keep their market. This study seems to effectively meet my aim. However, it could have been improved by investigating more hypotheses to get a better perspective and therefore come to a more accurate conclusion. I also think that the three settlements should be of similar type, for example all market settlements or settlements with a high percentage income. This would have made the study fairer and therefore more accurate. The main problems with this study were the practical difficulties of collecting data. For example, busy streets and bad weather. From this study, I have learnt that to place a settlement in a hierarchy, many criteria need to be taken into account, not just size. One important factor seems to be the function of the settlement and its history. If the town has experienced a lack of prosperity, this affects its status. On the other hand, settlements that are wealthy, perhaps because of the tourist industry, have a higher status than expected. By looking at my hypotheses, I feel I can redraw the settlement hierarchy for the particular settlements of Cardiff Merthyr and Brecon based on my four criteria: ...read more.

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