Big rise in the long daily commute

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The number of employees in the North West with daily commutes of two hours or more has shot up by a fifth over the past five years.

New analysis published today by the TUC to mark Work Wise UK’s Commute Smart Week, shows that in 2015, 286,575 workers in the region West psent two hours or longer in a car or on public transport going to and from their place of work – an increase of 47,016 since 2010.

Across the UK, one in seven UK employees had to make such a regular lengthy journey last year compared to one in nine in 2010.

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 per cent) of those who make work journeys of two hours or more. However women have experienced a sharper rise in long commuting since 2010 than men.

The TUC says the growth in long commutes in sectors like education and health and social care, where high numbers of women work, may explain this rise.

Health and social workers, public administration and defence workers and retail and wholesale workers are the biggest groups commuting for two hours or more.

Mining and quarrying workers are most likely to commute for two hours or more, followed by information and communication workers and finance and insurance staff.

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.