Londoners Have UK’s Longest Commute

Yeah, OK, so that’s probably not earth shatteringly unexpected news. But we were always of the opinion that getting anywhere in London takes “about an hour” (try it now; ask your workmates how long it takes them to get to work. We will bet you a pint on the next pub crawl that most of them say it’s “about an hour”). But according to the TUC, whose research this is, the average London commute is 75 minutes – which is pushing our definition of an hour.

You might expect a gender split (men travel for longer) but what’s interesting is that over the last six years, the commute time for men and women is starting to match up: 79 minutes for men in 2006, 77.2 in 2012 and 69.8 minutes for women in 2006, 72.8 in 2012. The TUC thinks the increase in part-time work – particularly among men – could account for this trend. At least the women are getting more value for their increasing fares, although this quote from Brendan Barber made us wonder if that’s really enough comfort:

The average commuter spends the equivalent of more than five weeks a year just to get to work and back.

This summer saw a change in the way many of us commute, which in theory could affect the amount of time spent on transport. How many people have stuck to their Games-time travel patterns? Was it easier? Or is it now just too cold and dark to bother getting up early?

Photo by cubicspace from the Londonist Flickr pool

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  • Wilko

    Aren’t all these figures down as ‘per day’ which would include going to and from work? That would make each journey between 30-40 minutes – probably then rounded up to an hour.

  • HoosierSands

    Yes, the TUC page definitely says per day. I wish I only spent 75 minutes commuting-it’s more like 120.

  • http://twitter.com/andybrice Andy Brice

    I can’t help thinking that much of the money spent on flash, sexy projects like new stations and high speed rail might be better spent first on boring-but-practical improvements like new signalling systems, allowing our trains to run faster and closer together.

    • jeremy_inc

      You mean like they literally just finished on the Victoria and very recently the Jubilee lines?

      • http://twitter.com/andybrice Andy Brice

        Yeah, but on Network Rail.

    • TOK

      Believe it or not it costs far less to build a new railway than upgrade an existing one, let alone cause far less disruption to the travelling public. And anyway much of the above is already happening.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.ellis.3532 Mark Ellis

    Sounds right to me – if you use public transport. My commute (East London to Elephant and Castle) takes 45 minutes if I use the tube, 30 minutes on a bike. Guess which one I use?

  • BethPH

    My commute is probably about 35 mins but I have a 15 min walk to the station and a 5 min walk to my office. So that’s, erm, about an hour.

  • sheloveslondon

    I’ll bet this didn’t include London’s most manic months to date, during the Olympics, when we all got to work in about 10 minutes.