Choking to death on commuting


For most people in Britain, just getting to work is a thoroughly miserable experience as they brave appalling traffic congestion or unreliable, overcrowded and over-priced public transport.

As David Millward argues in the Daily Telegraph, Britain may have a vibrant economy "but we also have one with a transport system incapable of coping with the demands that are being put on it by the very economic growth we are told to celebrate".

To make matters worse, labour mobility has been stifled by the increasing tax on moving house, meaning that many people have no choice but to commute – often by road.

And as a 2004 report from the CIPD also highlighted, spiralling house prices are having a severe impact on the UK labour market.

Three quarters of public sector employers said that they had experienced applicants turn down job offers because they could not afford to live in the area, with half of other employers similarly affected.

So why, asks Millward – given that almost everybody accepts that Britain cannot go on like this – don't more people work at home? Or would this require too much of a seismic shift in workplace culture as well as some joined up Government?

Millward's suggestion? Perhaps the Chancellor should look at providing tax breaks for companies that allow their staff to work from home, even for part of the week. Or would that smack far too much of common sense?

Daily Telegraph | We are on the road to nowhere with daily grind of commuting