Long commutes in the North
West up by a fifth
THE number of employees in the North
West with daily commutes of two hours or more has shot up 19.6% over the past 5
years, according to new analysis published by the TUC to mark Work Wise UK's
Commute Smart Week.
The analysis shows that in 2015, 286,575 workers in the North West had daily
commutes of 2 hours or longer; an increase of 47,016 since 2010.
Across the UK, 14% of UK employees travelled 2 hours or more each day to and
from work, compared to 11% in 2010.
UK workers spent 10 hours extra, on average, commuting in 2015 than they did in
2010. This is the equivalent of an extra 2.7 minutes per day.
Women have experienced the biggest rise in long commuting:-
Men still account for the majority (61%) of
those who make work journeys of 2 hours or more. However, women (+35%) have
experienced a sharper rise in long commuting since 2010 than men (+29%).
The TUC says the growth in long commutes in sectors like education (+46%) and
health and social care (+26%), where high numbers of women work, may explain
Health and social workers (376,000), public administration and defence workers
(320,000) and retail and wholesale workers (315,000) are the biggest groups
commuting for 2 hours or more.
Mining and quarrying workers (28.9%) are most likely to commute for 2 hours or
more, followed by information and communication workers (25.5%) and finance and
insurance staff (24.3%).
Long commuting has shot up most in Northern Ireland:-
Workers in Northern Ireland (+57%) have
experienced the biggest rise in long commuting, followed by the South East
(+37%) and the West Midlands (+27%).
London (930,000) has the highest number of employees who make long commutes,
followed by the South East (623,000) and the East of England (409,000).
Motorcyclists have seen their work commutes increase the most:-
Workers travelling to work by motorcycle (+3
minutes) have seen their daily commute increase the most, followed by taxi-users
(+2.8 minutes), cyclists (+2.6 minutes) motorists (+2.2 minutes) and rail
commuters (+1 minute).
By contrast, commute times for those using buses (-1 minute) and the London
underground (-5 minutes) have fallen.
The 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. The UK is bottom of an OECD league table on transport
TUC Regional Secretary for North West Lynn Collins said:- "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."
Work Wise UK Chief Executive Phil Flaxton said:- "Long commutes have
become a part of the UK's working culture. The excessive time spent commuting is
1 of the main factors contributing to work life balance problems. Not only is
the amount of time commuting an issue, the 9 to 5 culture with its peak travel
times generates congestion on railways, underground and road networks and as a
consequence, increases stress for commuters. Clearly the government,
public transport providers and employers must do more in order to address the
major negative impact on the UK's economy and lost productivity."
Mayor's Christmas Tea Dance
to bring festive cheer
THE Mayor's Christmas Tea Dance will
get the festive season off with a swing, on Wednesday, 7 December 2016, from 1.30pm
4.00pm. The event is taking place at Wallasey Town Hall again this year after
last year's inaugural tea dance was a sell out success.
All money raised will go towards the Mayor of Wirral's charity appeal -
supporting Wallasey Sea Cadets and the Wirral Community Narrowboat Trust, which
provides days out and activities for thousands of local disabled and
Tickets cost just £5 and people can also give an early Christmas present by
sponsoring a place for an elderly person who might struggle to find the money
for their own ticket.
Live Music will be provided by The Swingmasters, who will be playing all the
favourites to fill the Town Hall's beautiful sprung dancefloor. Guests are also
welcome to just sit back and soak up the festive atmosphere while enjoying hot
drinks, mince pies, sandwiches and cakes, which are being kindly provided by
Wirral Met College catering students.
The Mayor of Wirral, Cllr Pat Hackett, said:- 'Christmas is a time for
people to come together and enjoy themselves, so the tea dance is lovely way to
get into the spirit of the season and spread a bit of Christmas joy.
I'd also urge people and community groups such as luncheon clubs to get in touch
if they know of any isolated or disadvantaged older people who might like to
come along and be our guest with one of the sponsored places.'
Tickets and sponsored places are available from the Mayor's Office via
email, by calling:- (0151) 691
8527, alternatively you an also do it via visiting the Wallasey Town Hall Reception.
Families living in new homes
slash fuel bills by ½
A new home built to the latest building
regulations can cost ½ as much to heat as a Victorian house of the same size,
according to a new report by the NHBC Foundation.
The advantages of new homes is based on a survey of 2,000 people who had
recently moved into a new home and were asked what they considered the
advantages of new homes to be. Many pointed to the energy efficiency benefits of
new homes; the better standards of insulation enhanced draught proofing and
improved:- 'airtightness' that help to lower household annual energy bills, and
improve levels of comfort.
The report shows that energy bills are expected to be around £440 lower in a
modern 1 bedroom ground floor flat, compared to its Victorian equivalent. And
for a new build 4 bedroom detached house, bills are estimated at £1,050; saving
£1,400 compared to those of a 19th century house.
Homeowners of newer properties were also drawn to the idea of buying a
ready to be personalised, free from the nasty surprises of previous owners' DIY.
They also commented positively on the contemporary, flexible layouts and modern
facilities of new homes such as new kitchens, bathrooms and appliances, covered
by manufacturers' warranties.
The report outlines the safety advantages of new homes raised by some
respondents; such as mains powered smoke alarms, interlinked throughout the
home, which are standard, and the benefits of safety glazing, safer stairs and
the additional security features. But the advantages of new homes extend beyond
the front door and many of the new homeowners surveyed considered that moving to
a new development of like minded people was also an attraction, allowing the
opportunity to make new friends and neighbours in a new community.
Neil Smith, Head of Research and Innovation at NHBC, said:- "It is
pleasing that homeowners are able to identify the many benefits of new homes,
ranging from the obvious advantages of a 'blank canvas' with everything being
new, through to the much improved energy efficiency standards, which lead to
greatly reduced fuel bills, compared with those of older homes. Maybe less
obvious are the more solid foundations on which new homes are built, which are
designed to suit local ground conditions, as well as the safety advantages of
modern wiring and mains-powered smoke alarms, interlinked throughout the home.
This report is a useful reminder of the benefits of buying a new home, designed
and built in accordance with up to date standards. What's more, an important
advantage frequently raised in the survey is the peace of mind provided by
NHBC's warranty and insurance protection under Buildmark, from exchange of
contracts through to a maximum of 10 years after completion."
Download the report from:-