The Influence of Transport Infrastructure Development on Transport Accessibility of Rural Areas in Poland
Purpose: The article analyzes and evaluates the impact of changes in the development of transport infrastructure on the level of transport accessibility of rural areas in Poland. Design/Methodology/Approach: The study used the desk research method in the field of statistical resources. The empirical layer demonstrates changes in the length of commune and poviat roads in Poland as well as the spatial and demographic assessment of infrastructure density. This has provided grounds for determining the weighted average indicator reflecting transformations in the transport accessibility of rural areas. The calculations are presented for the years 2000-2020, in the national and provincial cross-section. We used the ArcGIS software to depict the changes in the level of transport accessibility of rural areas in Poland. Findings: The increase in the length of infrastructure positively influenced the spatial and demographic density index in rural areas in Poland which differs from the spatial density index. They have a growing tendency, although the growth rate is not lower than in the case of the growth of infrastructure networks. It is influenced by the increase in the number of rural population in Poland (the effect of suburbanization) and the increase of roads diversified in individual voivodeships. When assessing the changes in transport accessibility with the use of a weighted average indicator, its improvement can be noticed in the regions of central and eastern Poland. Practical Implications: Transport infrastructure is an important factor supporting socio-economic development. The differences in the development of infrastructure should be used in the search for solutions to its more balanced development from the point of view of improving transport accessibility. Originality/value: The results contribute to the discussion on the development of infrastructure in the context of improving transport accessibility. Infrastructure development plans should take into account to a greater extent the general mega-trends occurring in society, including, among others, mega-trend related to suburbanization, important for changes in rural population.