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Annie Hayes

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Commute slog saps five years over working career

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Workers spend an average five years getting to and from work, over the course of their working life.

It’s a statistic that has triggered alarm bells for Work Wise UK, the smarter working organisation that is working in conjunction with the Automobile Association (AA) in a new campaign to cut the commute.

According to its findings, the average commuter spends almost 29 working days each year travelling to work, or five years over a working life, a figure that equates to 54 minutes per day.

For many London commuters, who travel more than three hours per day, the figure is a staggering 96 working days each year, or 18 years during a career.

Sadly it’s a time-waster that costs dear. Fuel bills have climbed 16% since last year, and with 18 million people commuting by car, that is a total additional cost of nearly £866 million a year. With car ownership rising 5 million to 27.8 million in the last decade, many parts of the UK are currently experiencing road congestion. Estimates predict that if recent trends continue, by 2025 congestion will waste around £22 billion worth of time in England alone each year.

Work Wise UK and the AA are suggesting alternatives to commuting by car, including simple steps such as car sharing, cycling and taking public transport, or more fundamentally, adopting smarter working practices to enable home working, flexible working, remote and mobile working, to reduce the amount of commuting and work-related travel needed.

Edmund King, AA president, said: “The equivalent of our annual holiday from work is lost commuting by car. Mondeo man has been hit with an 11% increase in his car running costs in the last year so may wish to consider car-sharing, eco driving, avoiding the rush, taking the bus or if possible working from home even one day per week. Smarter commuting can reduce costs, carbon and congestion.”

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Annie Hayes

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