Soaring house prices force workers into longer commutes
Study finds that the number of people who spend more than two hours travelling to and from work has increased by more than 70 per cent
The number of commuters travelling for three or more hours a day has risen by 75 per cent Photo: Alamy
By Victoria Ward
The number of people who spend more than two hours commuting to and from work has soared by more than 70 per cent over the past decade, a study reveals.
The TUC blamed the longer travelling times on inflated house prices and a lack of spending on roads and railways.
The biggest increases in long commutes are in the South East, South West, East Midlands and Wales.
An analysis of unpublished data from the Office for National Statistics found that those travelling more than two hours a day increased from 1.7 million in 2004 to 3 million in 2014, a jump of 72 per cent.
The study also shows that the number of commuters travelling for three or more hours a day has risen by 75 per cent, from 500,000 to 880,000 over the last decade.
It said that women employees had borne the brunt of the growth in long commuting, whilst more low paid workers were facing longer and costlier commutes just to get to work.
Frances O'Grady, the TUCís general secretary, said: "It's bad enough most of us spend an hour a day getting to and from work, but spare a thought for those extreme commuters who travel for more than 10, or even 15, hours a week.
"Employers need to address the problem that many of their staff are spending an ever-increasing number of hours getting to and from work.
"More home and flexi-working could easily be introduced to allow people to cut their commutes and save money. This would not only be popular with workers, but fewer, better-spaced journeys would help to beat overcrowding on the roads and railways."
Phil Flaxton, chief executive of campaign group Work Wise, said: "Are we really prepared to move into winter with the same anticipated long and often disrupted commutes? Or, are we going to change the way we work by commuting less with the aid of internet and mobile technologies.Ē