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Commuting takes longer and longer

Date 29 Oct 2007
Author The Editor

The time workers spend commuting to and from home has "rocketed" in the past 10 years, with millions now taking at least an hour to get to the office, it is claimed.

The TUC said the number of people travelling for more than 60 minutes to get to work has risen by over 22% since 1996. The increase was actually more than 40% in some parts of the UK.

More than 1.3 million people travel for longer than an hour to get to work in London and half a million in the North West. Meanwhile, 145,000 people in Scotland are setting off for work earlier - and getting home later - than they did 10 years ago.

The findings coincide with the Work Wise campaign's Commute Smart Week, which calls for firms to allow more flexible and home working to reduce the stress of the daily journey for the UK's 25 million commuters.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: "We work some of the longest hours in Europe, and on top of this have to endure the second-longest daily commute in Europe - on average 54 minutes per day. This adds up to a very stressful working week for millions of workers across the UK, and employers could ease this strain for their workers by introducing flexible working."

Work Wise Chief Executive Phil Flaxton said: "If everyone travelled one day per week outside peak hours, commuters during peak hours would drop by 20%. Or if everyone worked just one day every other week from home, overall commuting would drop by 10%."

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