Average commute to work now takes 59 minutes - TUC study

15 November 2019, 09:31 | Updated: 15 November 2019, 14:02

Commuters are spending a "whopping" 221 hours a year getting to and from work as journey times get longer, new research suggests.

Getting to work is taking longer with the average journey lasting almost an hour.

The TUC study said the average commute took 59 minutes last year - more than five minutes longer than a decade ago.

Every region of the country has seen an increase in commuting time, according to the research.

The biggest rise is in the South East where it is up by 31 hours a year, followed by the North West (26 hours) and West Midlands (24 hours).

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 - are the factors behind longer commutes, the union said.

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, 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.

"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.