Three million UK workers commute at least 2 hours a day

Over the last ten years the number of people in the UK commuting for over two hours a day has increased 72%, from 1.7 million in 2004 to 3 million in 2014.

The findings were published in a report by the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

The biggest increases in the number of employees commuting for at least two hours have been in the South East (up 103%) and the South West (up 102%).

The research also revealed that the number of commuters travelling for three or more hours a day rose 75% over the last decade, from 500,000 to 880,000.


Commuting times have increased by three minutes in the last decade, from 52 minutes in 2004 to 55 minutes in 2014, on average.

TUC outlined three reasons it believes has caused employees in Britain to spend more time commuting: lack of investment in roads and railways, soaring rent prices leaving many workers unable to move to areas closer to their jobs, and the 2008 recession making people more willing to travel further to get, or keep, a job.

UC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “It’s bad enough most of us spend an hour a day getting to and from work – but spare a thought for those extreme commuters who travel for more than 10, or even 15, hours a week.

“Employers need to address the problem that many of their staff are spending an ever-increasing number of hours getting to and from work.

“More home and flexi-working could easily be introduced to allow people to cut their commutes and save money. This would not only be popular with workers, but fewer, better-spaced journeys would help to beat overcrowding on the roads and railways.”

Work Wise UK’s Chief Executive Phil Flaxton said: “With some 25 million commuters regularly going to a fixed place of work Commute Smart Week reminds us that we have an opportunity to change our attitudes and thinking in relation to long commutes.

“Are we really prepared to move into winter with the same anticipated long and often disrupted commutes? Or, are we going to change the way we work by commuting less with the aid of internet and mobile technologies.

“Employers should grasp this opportunity by changing the way employees work and commute and introduce more flexibility to cut out these restrictive influences on business performance as well as the wellbeing of their employees.”