Shedworkers who enjoy a 30 second commute will be interested to hear that the number of employees with daily commutes of two hours or more has shot up by nearly a third over the past five years, according to new analysis published today by the TUC to mark Work Wise UK’s Commute Smart Week.
The analysis shows that in 2015 3.7 million workers had daily commutes of two hours or longer – an increase of 900,000 since 2010 (2.8 million). In 2015 one in seven UK employees (14%) travelled two hours or more each day to and from work, compared to one in nine in 2010 (11%).
UK workers spent 10 hours extra, on average, commuting in 2015 than they did in 2010. This is the equivalent of an extra 2.7 minutes per day. Men still account for the majority (61%) of those who make work journeys of two hours or more. However, women (+35%) have experienced a sharper rise in long commuting since 2010 than men (+29%).
Workers in Northern Ireland (+57%) have experienced the biggest rise in long commuting, followed by the South East (+37%) and the West Midlands (+27%). London (930,000) has the highest number of employees who make long commutes, followed by the South East (623,000) and the East of England (409,000).
The TUC believes the increase in travelling times may be explained by:
- stagnant wages combined with soaring rents and high house prices leaving many workers unable to move to areas closer to their jobs;
- the lack of investment in roads and railways increasing journey times. The UK is bottom of an OECD league table on transport infrastructure spending.
Work Wise UK Chief Executive Phil Flaxton said: “Long commutes have become a part of the UK’s working culture. The excessive time spent commuting is one of the main factors contributing to work-life balance problems. Not only is the amount of time commuting an issue, the 9 to 5 culture with its peak travel times generates congestion on railways, underground and road networks and as a consequence, increases stress for commuters." --------------------------------------------------------
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