Friday 15 November 2019 3:31 pm

Average commute increases to 59 minutes per journey, TUC study reveals

Commuters are spending around 221 hours on average each year getting to and from work according to new research.

The average journey to or from work took 59 minutes last year, a study by Trades Union Congress (TUC) revealed.

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It is more than five minutes longer than it was a decade ago with every region across the UK seeing an increase in commuting time.

In the south east of England it rose the most, by 31 hours a year, followed by 26 hours in the north west and 24 hours in the west midlands.

The TUC’s results are based on analysis of official figures.

Why has the commute increased?

The union has blamed a lack of infrastructure, few opportunities from employers to work flexibly and increasing house prices, meaning people are unable to live close to their 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 renationalise trains and buses to cut journey times and fares, and invest in great public transport links in every part of the country.”

Phil Flaxton, chief executive of Work Wise, which campaigns for flexible work, called on employers to work with staff “to avoid unnecessary disruption to the work day” and boost “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 said.

Read more: Mind the gap: the daily commute is exacerbating inequality

“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.”