Britain's average commuting time revealed

Cars and trains are supposed to make our lives easier, but they can also take make problems for us if we choose to work too far from home. In the UK at this time, millions of workers spend 2 hours or more commuting to work. Is a lack of suitable jobs at the root of this commuting culture or is there a bit more to it?

Two hours

The number of workers spending more than 2 hours commuting per day has increased by 72% over the past decade. There are now more than 3 million Brits who routinely make long treks to work according to a report from the TUC. More worryingly the number of workers commuting for more than 3 hours per day has also jumped up, rising from a figure of just under 500,000 to just under 900,000 in the last 10 years.

Root causes

So what’s at the root cause of all this? The job market is obviously the main reason for the commutes that people have to make. If there’s no work where you live, you commute. But it’s not as simple as that. The housing crisis and reductions in spending on the roads and railways also lead to longer travelling times for Britain’s frustrated workers.

Worst groups

Women are the group who suffer the longest commutes. Since 2004, the amount of women travelling to work for many hours a day has increased by 131%. In terms of areas of the country, workers from the south-east, south-west, Midlands and Wales are suffering more than any other parts of the country.


The price of rented accommodation and the high house prices in major metropolitan areas also contribute to the need to travel way out of the way for work. But the major concern for the TUC is that these long travelling times are now affecting workers at the lower end of the scale who don’t get richly compensated for their time.

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