UK workers lose over five days a year to commuting problems

Kalila Sangster
Horizontal color image of a busy railroad platform at Paddington station in London, UK.
Employees are wasting an average of 2.7 hours a week due to travel disruption or delays. Photo: Getty

Employees are losing over five days of their time a year due to commuting problems, a new survey has found.

UK workers are wasting an average of 2.7 hours a week due to travel disruption or delays. This equates to 125 hours, or more than five days, lost per year, according to a survey of 2,000 employees by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Porter Novelli/Opinium.

CBI is calling for improvements to transport infrastructure across the country. They are working with consultancy firm KPMG on a new 18-month campaign called “The Future of Commuting” to highlight the need to make commuting more affordable, environmentally friendly, and reliable for communities across the UK.

READ MORE: UK commuters spend £1.8bn a year on train tickets

Matthew Fell, CBI chief UK policy director, said: “As we head into a new year, and a new decade, commuters will be anxious to see what the new Government’s spending commitments will mean for them.

“Encountering delay and disruption far too often, employees up and down the UK want a cheaper, greener and more reliable commute.

“This will only be achieved by business and the government working together to invest and deliver the right infrastructure, and make better use of existing capacity on our networks – from a plan for a more accountable rail system to expanding smart ticketing and promoting flexible working.”

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The campaign comes after a turbulent year for some of the country’s biggest commuter rail networks. South Western Railway passengers were affected by strike throughout December, while there was extensive disruption to Northern, TransPennine Express, and West Midlands Trains services during much of 2019.

Ed Thomas, head of transport at KPMG UK, said: “The election saw a broad consensus between the parties around the importance of transport infrastructure and green investment.

“However, a number of these issues have been talked about for years and commuters now want to see this talk translate into action.

READ MORE: How to make your commute go further

“Whether it be developing new models for funding and delivering transport infrastructure in the North and Midlands, simplifying our system of rail fares or determining how government and business can work together to meet the challenges posed by net-zero, transforming the experience of commuters is an area where the UK needs to build some real momentum.”

As train fares went up by 2.7% last week transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “This government will improve the railway system to ensure the focus is always on putting passengers first.”

Shapps also announced that he had begun the process of stripping Northern rail of its franchise after years of poor performance.