Research shows rising house prices force more into lengthy commutes

Research carried out by the Office for National Statistics and analysed by the TUC has highlighted ever-increasing commutes due to rising housing prices.

The data shows a 72% jump in those travelling to work for more than 2hrs a day – from 1.7 million in 2004 to 3 million in 2014. And that’s not the only rise – numbers of those travelling for 3 or more hours a day was up 75%, from 500,000 to 880,000 within the last 10 years.

The areas seeing the biggest increase in commute distance are the South East, South West, East Midlands, and Wales.

The TUC believe that this is due to house prices rising – meaning that more and more workers simply can’t afford to live close to their workplace.

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 TUC’s 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.”

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?”.

We blogged last month on how liftsharing could put you in touch with more job opportunities – so be sure to read up and share your commute!

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Author Lex Barber


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