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  1. ITV Report

Two hour daily commutes rise by almost 10% in the South West

The number of people in the West Country with daily commutes of at least two hours has gone up by almost 10% over the last five years.

The research, by the South West Trade Unions Congress, show more than 60% of these commuters are men, but the number of women commuting long distances is continuing to rapidly increase.

171,435
workers in the South West had daily commutes of two hours or longer.

Solicitor Nick Seymour who travels from Exeter to Bristol four days a week and from Exeter to Cardiff one day a week.

I used to work in Plymouth, but then my role changed and so did my office. I catch the train every day from Exeter St Davids and I'm not alone in travelling daily to Bristol.

There's a little community of us. We don't know each other's names but we nod and smile at one another.

– Nick Seymour

It's thought the growth in long commutes in sectors like education, and health and social care - where high numbers of women work - may explain the rise.

The biggest groups of workers commuting for two hours or more are:

  • Health and social workers
  • Public administration and defence workers
  • Retail and wholesale workers

Workers travelling to work by motorcycle have seen their daily commute increase the most, followed by taxi-users, cyclists, motorists and rail commuters.

On the otherside, commute times for those using buses have fallen.

None of us like spending ages getting to and from work. Long commutes eat into our family time and can be bad for our working lives too.

Employers cannot turn a blind eye to this problem. More home and flexible-working would allow people to cut their commutes and save money.

But if we are to reduce the pain of traffic jams and train delays, ministers need to invest more in public transport and our roads. Next week's Autumn Statement is the perfect opportunity to do this.

– Nigel Costley, Regional Secretary for the South West

The South West TUC believes the increase in travelling times may be explained by:

  • stagnant wages combined with soaring rents and high house prices leaving many workers unable to move to areas closer to their jobs.
  • the lack of investment in roads and railways increasing journey times.