WORKING 9-5: Average British commuter spends £48k on travel in a lifetime

VIJAY SHAH via SWNS digital

The average British commuter will spend around GBP £48,000 (USD $60211) of the course of a lifetime, just on travelling to their workplace, a recent survey of 2,000 commuters in the U.K. has discovered.

The figure is not surprising to many observers. Britain has some of the highest transport fares in Europe, with many tickets around ten times their European equivalent. In addition, the average Briton will also spend up to a year of their life on the commute, assuming they work for 47 years of their lifespan. The survey showed that 68 per cent drive to work, 11 per cent take the train and eight per cent get to the workplace via bicycle or motorcycle.



Interestingly, the survey also picked up the fact that a third of the £48,000 figure will be spent on snacks, refreshments and other items consumed or used during the journey, especially for those on long commutes.

The research was commissioned by the motorcycle insurance company Lexham. The firm’s head of sales and marketing, Andy Goodson, commented: While many commuters think their journeys to and from work are barely worth considering, the amount of time we spend on them shows we should give them a bit more thought.

“With an average commute time of almost an hour a day, for many Brits this is wasted time as they’re stuck behind the wheel in traffic.

“Some of the happiest respondents in our survey were ones who were able to walk to work – giving themselves the shortest commute possible.”

The average journey on a commute is seven miles (eleven kilometres) long, which means over a working life, commuters will have clocked up 171,080 miles (275,327 km) going to and fro from the office or work site – the equivalent of circumnavigating the Earth more than six times. Those who drive to work suffered the highest stress levels, according to the Lexham research, with biking the least likely to leave people grumpy when they arrive at their desks. Sixty-two per cent of commuters told researchers that a bad journey to work would wreck the rest of their day.

Over the course of their working life, the average commuter will read 67 books, 2248 newspapers and listen to 3617 albums.

They will also send 1710 work emails, consume 977 bananas and play 2,077 gaming sessions on their phones.

Andy Goodson said: “One of the best ways to make your commute happier is to cut down how long it is.

“Motorbikes and scooters are a convenient way to bring down your commuting time, as they can beat traffic so easily.

“Nobody wants to have their day made any more stressful than it needs to be – and sitting in traffic, other commuters’ personal hygiene and constantly late trains definitely don’t help.”



Distance travelled: 171,080 miles
Amount spent: £48,708.92
Time spent: 10,998 hours
Days late to work: 1906
Newspapers read: 2248
Coffees bought: 1759
Games played on phone: 2077
Social events planned: 1710
Albums listened to: 3617
Bananas eaten: 977


“Brits Spend £48k Over A Lifetime – Just To Get To Work” – digitalhub/SWNS digital/72Point (2 April 2017)

LONDON UNDERGROUND: Getting deep under the skin of the UK’s capital

VIJAY SHAH via Londonist


(c) Londonist

A major city, a former industrial metropolis, with a population of eight million, London has become famous for its high-rise buildings filling the air. The Shard, the Gherkin, the Walkie Talkie, it is a hangglider’s veritable nightmare. But less of a thought is given to the city’s growth in the opposite direction. Famed for its Underground trains, many of which run deep below the busy roads, homes, offices and tourist attractions of the city, London has plenty of other subterranean secrets too, as explored recently by local online magazine Londonist.

The clay and soil beneath London’s mean streets are home to a bewildering number of tunnels, obsolete Tube stations, bunkers and basements of all sorts. It is pretty much a subterranean maze below Londoners’ feet, and enough to rival the mass of roads, walkways and cycle paths above ground. The average London sewer is only four feet under our feet, while the Lee Tunnel, which runs under East Ham and Stratford in east London and stores and runs out effluent and sewage from the Abbey Mills Pumping Station, is the deepest at around 60-70 metres. There is even a mail rail for letters used by Royal Mail which moves parcels and birthday cards around unhindered at a depth of 21 metres. Probably too much for Postman Pat. His cat would turn out completely black from all the soot, we reckon.

Other down-below surprises include deep-level emergency shelters (30m down), the London Power Tunnels, which help keep the capital’s electricity flowing at 35m, and the new Crossrail service, which chugs around happily at a depth of 25 metres. The city is also home to secret tunnels, underground passageways and bunkers, many built by the government during the war years. Add to that the forty or so disused Underground stations such as Down Street, Aldwych and others, some which may be converted into underground shopping centres if plans get the go-ahead.

Sadly, as much as London is a city of firsts, the deepest human-made structure is not directly underneath your local boozer or primary school. If you consider true depth, then that accolade goes to the SG-3 borehole in Russia, part of the greater Kola Superdeep borehole. SG-3 was excavated by the Soviets in the far eastern Kola peninsula between 1970-1989 in a test to see how far humans could go beneath the surface.

Londonist writer and illustrator Matt Brown has produced a special infographic with a distinct city vibe, that visually explains the different underground features, and has also assembled an informative guide to many of these earthly delights, featuring Wikipedia articles, official websites and the magazine’s own exclusive video ‘Secrets’ of many of London’s grandest tunnels. You can view all these at the Londonist article in the Sources section of this blogpost.

Londonist, Facebook, Facebook Inc.
“How Deep Does London Go?” – Matt Brown (M@), Londonist/Londonist Ltd. (27 October 2015)
“Kola Superdeep Borehole” – Wikipedia/Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
“How Deep Does London Go?” – Matt Brown (M@), Londonist/Londonist Ltd. (27 October 2015)