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Fewer people commuting but distances on the up

Mon, 31 Mar 2014

The average commute has increased in distance, but more people working from home means there are actually fewer cars on the road at rush hour today compared to 10 years ago, according to statistics from the most recent Census conducted in 2011.

Figures show the average commute has increased from 8.3 miles in 2001 to 9.32 miles in 2011. People living in the east of England travelled the furthest to work at an average distance of 10.34 miles – while those in London had the shortest commutes averaging 6.83 miles.

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However, in 2011 one in 10 people worked from home – a 0.8% rise since 2001 – and a further 8% have no fixed place of work, meaning only 81% made a regular commute in 2011, compared to 86%10 years earlier.

On average, men commute further than women, with 42% of males travelling more than 6.2 miles to work compared to 30% of females.

AA spokesman Luke Bosdet told

“These latest figures seem to confirm the trend shown in recent Department for Transport traffic statistics – that UK business is recovering and getting on the road, the workers much less so.

“Although economic recovery has lifted motorway traffic 2.9% since the boom period of 2007, last year’s traffic on rural main roads was down 2%,  urban main roads was down 4%, rural minor roads was 6.0 per cent lower and traffic was 4.3% lower on urban minor roads.

“Much of this is due to the lag between inflated pump prices and wages that have failed to keep pace.”

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