Commuting crisis getting worse


Britain's commuting crisis is getting worse, according to new figures, with more people missing more time at work due to delays, congestion and poor public transport.

According to the latest Travel to Work survey by recruitment firm Reed, employers are losing over 11 million hours each week as staff struggle with commuting problems, a rise of more than a third on the 8 million hours lost in 2002.

Reed added that it estimated that these delays were now costing the UK economy £7.7bn year compared to £5.7bn in 2002.

Across the UK, the survey of 6,000 people found that 17 per cent of employees lose at least an hour a week to commuting, with one in five - 21 per cent - losing half an hour.

The number of people delayed for more than an hour is also up, rising five per cent on 2002.

But half of those questioned (55 per cent) claimed that they were never late for work.

The problem is at its worst in London, where almost a third of staff are late twice a week. Employees in the North-east England and Wales fare the best.

"Despite some initiatives and investment of public money over the past few years, the simple fact is that commuting is getting worse not better," said Reed's Dan Ferrandino.

"This trend is a cause of growing concern for British firms.

"No transport system is entirely perfect but there is only so much that employers and employees can or should be expected to cope with.

"Other countries seem to have overcome this issue and it is time that the UK joined them."