Twenty one day commute
The UK Office of National Statistics has found that over 3.7 million people spend two hours commuting to work each day. For a person working five days a week, that equates to 21 full days per year, either on a packed train or stuck on a dual carriageway. I am one of these commuters, although admittedly my decision was largely out of choice, given my love for my current job. Yet for most people who find themselves in this position, the explanation can be found in flat wages, high house prices and exploitative rental costs. They have to travel far and wide, just to make ends meet, despite the deleterious impact on health and on family life.
These newly publicised statistics ought to prompt the government to address the deficiencies in transport infrastructure and with work patterns. Yet with privatised rail companies struggling to provide anything like an acceptable service, it is standing by while rail fares are set to increase, and while subsidies will be removed for the London Tube. Set aside the economic self harm that such a move can pose upon a country that desperately needs affordable transport. Put simple, this government is simply not interested in helping working people. Only the Tories would celebrate last month's announcement to limit cuts to in-work benefits, which will still result in the lowering of wages for thousands of hard-pressed families, many of whom are included, no doubt, in the ONS commuter figures. Only a government blinkered by its own set of internal considerations would downplay the cost of Brexit whilst at the same time announce that June's referendum will cost £60 billion. For that money, we could overhaul the UK's transport system and make it affordable.
And every parent in the country would be back for bath time.