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17 November 2017, 07:41 | Updated: 17 November 2017, 08:20
New figures show the average worker in the North West will spend 26 days every year getting to and from work.
Commuters from the North West now face an average 56-minute daily journey – the equivalent of 26 working days a year, according to TUC analysis released today (Friday) to mark Work Wise UK’s Commute Smart Week.
Getting to and from work now takes commuters in the North West an extra 7 minutes a day compared with a decade ago – the equivalent of an extra 26 hours a year spent on congested roads and packed trains.
Nationally, commuters are facing an average daily journey of 58 minutes, up 5 minutes from a decade ago.
The number of workers facing very long commutes (over 2 hours) is up by 34%, with 3,291,012 now facing very long journeys.
Rail commuters face the longest journeys, taking an average of 2 hours and 12 minutes every day – an increase of 4 minutes on the last decade.
Drivers spend 52 minutes on the road to work and back (up by 4 minutes), while bus commuters must set aside 39 minutes a day (up by 7 minutes).
Cyclists (43 minutes) and walkers (30 minutes) have the quickest daily journeys.
Londoners take the longest to get to and from work: 1 hour and 21 minutes each day – up by 6 minutes in the last decade. Welsh workers have the shortest daily commute in Great Britain, at 49 minutes.
Every English region now faces an average commute time of over 50 minutes a day.
The TUC blames growing commutes on three main factors:
• low government spending on transport infrastructure;
• employers not offering flexible and home working;
• real wages falling while property prices soar, making it hard to move closer to work.
TUC Regional Secretary for the North West Lynn Collins said:
“We’re now spending 26 working days a year going to and from work. That’s wasted time, which could have been better spent with family and friends.
“Commutes should be getting shorter, but inflexible bosses and our cash-starved transport system mean we’re wasting more and more time getting to work.
“It doesn’t have to be like this. Home working and less rigid hours would take pressure off road and rail. And serious government investment could give us a transport network that’s up to the job.”