Our commute to work is getting longer


Congestion charge referendum in ManchesterMany of you will know the feeling. You’ve spent over an hour getting into work. You arrive tired, clammy and feeling more in need of a rest than starting your day’s work.

Yes, more and more of us are spending longer on that most hated of daily rituals – commuting. That’s the conclusion of a new Trades Union Congress (TUC) poll of almost 83,000 British workers.

The report puts the blame on the current inflated property market, saying this is pricing many of us out of living within easy reach of our place of work. But ministers say that plans are in place to help address the problem.

Stat attack

  • The number of us commuting more than two hours per day (or 10 hours a week) to work has jumped 72% in the last 10 years
  • More than 3 million of us have to endure long commutes today

Areas where residents suffer the longest commutes are:

  • The south-east
  • The south-west
  • The East Midlands

The findings also indicate that women workers are the biggest victims of the jump in commuting times, with many having to drive at least three hours per day.

What the TUC says
It claims we are spending more and more time travelling to and from work due to:

  • High property prices
  • Soaring rent
  • Bad infrastructure

Frances O’Grady, the TUC’s general secretary, is calling on bosses to get a grip on the problem. She says two things in particular could help:

  • More flexible hours
  • More homeworking

These factors would help save money, time, and would mean fewer trips to reduce road and train overcrowding.

What the Government is doing
The Government says that three things are helping to address the problem:

  • Help-to-buy initiatives which have already assisted more than 230,000 homebuyers over the past five years
  • New homebuilding
  • Infrastructure, including a £15 billion project to upgrade English roads and increase their capacity

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