People's daily commutes are now the longest they've ever been

15 November 2019, 00:22

The average commute is now 59 minutes long
The average commute is now 59 minutes long. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

Travelling to work is taking longer than ever, with the average daily commute now taking almost an hour, new research has found.

Last year, getting to and from work took 59 minutes, more than five minutes longer than a decade ago.

The research from the TUC has revealed that every region of the country has seen an increase in commuting time, with the biggest rise in the south east, which is up by 31 hours per year.

The north west had the next highest rise, at 26 hours, followed by the west midlands at 24 hours.

The TUC has blamed longer travelling times on a lack of investment in infrastructure, few opportunities to work flexibly, and wages falling while house prices have increased, making it difficult for people to live close to where they work.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "We're now spending a whopping 221 hours a year going to and from work, valuable time which could be spent with family and friends.

"The next government must re-nationalise trains and buses to cut journey times and fares, and invest in great public transport links in every part of the country."

Every region of the country has seen an increase in commuting time
Every region of the country has seen an increase in commuting time. Picture: PA

Phil Flaxton, chief executive of Work Wise, which campaigns for flexible work, said: "Employers and their staff should work together in order to avoid unnecessary disruption to the working day, which benefits productivity and work-life balance.

"There are many ways of avoiding the misery of commuting during the dark mornings and evenings, which millions of people endure as they struggle to get to and from work.

He continued: "These include implementing flexi-time, staggered working hours and working from home.

"Clearly the Government, public transport providers and employers must do more in order to address the major negative impact on the UK's economy, lost productivity and the environment."

The TUC said its figures were based on its analysis of official figures.