SERVICES HIGH OR LOW ORDER What determines the services found in a particular central place ?
Key to service provision is FOOTFALL : the THRESHOLD POPULATION “ The minimum number of people necessary before a particular good or service will be provided in an area.” Thresholds may also be linked to the spending power of customers; this is most obvious in periodic markets in poor countries, where wages are so low that people can buy the goods or services only once in a while.
Threshold Populations 300000 University 20000 Cinema 100000 Theatre 10000 Secondary School 100000 Department Store 2500 Doctor’s Surgery 70000 Marks & Spencer 800 Newsagent 60000 Supermarket 500 Primary School 25000 Shoe Shop 300 Village Shop
Villages and other rural settlements have found over the last 20 years that it has been increasingly hard for services to remain viable in these settlements. Small post offices and banks have frequently been closed down, as there are simply not enough people using them to make them viable. The number of services (functions) that a town provides normally relates to the number of people living there. There are however, two noted anomalies. These are examples of settlements that do not conform to the general pattern:
Anomaly A: A Tourist town: Towns, such as Brighton, Blackpool and Hunstanton, that have grown due to the tourist industry, often have more services than their population suggests they should have. This is because many of their services are catering for the tourists who flood into the towns during the summer months. Hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, beach shops and ice cream stalls all are aimed to provide services for the tourists. The extra tourist numbers swell the total population during the summer to a level that is more appropriate for the number of services provided.
Anomaly B: A Commuter Settlement: Many rural villages are becoming commuter centres, where people live, but work elsewhere. Many villages and towns around the London area fulfill this function. Commuter settlements have a large resident population, but as very few of them actually work in the village, there is nobody to support any services. The commuters will do their shopping and banking in the city where they work. This means that these settlements will have fewer services than their population suggests they should have. Some commuter settlements are changing their services to cater for the different residents, with restaurants and cafes replacing the traditional village services.
The sphere of influence of a settlement describes the area that is served by a settlement, for a particular function. Its sphere of influence for different functions may cover vastly different areas. For instance a supermarket may attract people from a 20-mile radius, whilst a leisure activity, such as going to the theatre may attract them from far further away. Settlements in an area will exhibit a FUNCTIONAL INTERDEPENDENCE. What does this mean ?
The range of a good or service describes the maximum distance that someone would be willing to travel to obtain that good or service. A newspaper shop has a small range because people will not travel far to use them. A cinema, or concert venue has a much wider range as people are prepared to travel much further to go to it. e.g. O2 Arena – Led Zeppelin reunion concert in November
Questions <ul><li>1. Over the last 50 years, the number of services in small settlements has declined </li></ul>