Do you face a long commute?

by sophielloyd   June 30, 2011  

Do you face a long commute every day because you can't afford to live closer to work?

I'm an assistant producer working on a new channel 4 programme about the housing crisis in the uk and would love to hear from you if you face a long commute to work every day because being close to work becomes unaffordable.

Thanks! Any comments much appreciated!

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I'm always intrigued as to what constitutes a long commute. Some people say mine is a long commute at 12/13 miles each way, but I'd say a long commute would probably be about double that.

posted by farrell [1876 posts]
30th June 2011 - 12:39

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That can be quite a long commute. Do you cycle that distance? How long does it take you?

Would you say house prices are preventing you from moving closer?

posted by sophielloyd [4 posts]
30th June 2011 - 12:45


About 40/45 minutes, house prices arent really a factor in me not moving closer to where I work, I'd prefer to live elsewhere and that would possibly be further away from work.

Cycling the commute is generally the highlight of my day.

posted by farrell [1876 posts]
30th June 2011 - 12:59

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We had a story up not so long ago about commuting distances (of course I can't actually find it right now). From memory 12/13 miles is a much bigger than average commute whatever your mode of transport (although the picture obviously differs in London and the SE).

I have the opposite problem. Working from home now, I don't get to commute by bike at all. I miss it.

It's a complicated picture though. With public transport and motoring costs continually heading upwards, even if you choose to live some distance from work because house prices/rent is cheaper, you'll be paying more to get to/from work.

Unless you cycle, of course.

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [9308 posts]
30th June 2011 - 13:03


Are you only looking down south and cyclists?

The house prices up here are so expensive, that people are just not bothering and staying with parents and grandparents

I know cyclists who do 40 mile round commutes and then people in cars who do nearly 100 miles a day just to go to work

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posted by Gkam84 [9307 posts]
30th June 2011 - 13:52


Hi Gkam84! No, looking everywhere for this. Where are you based?

People having to stay with parents and grandparents becuase of how expensive it all is are exactly the people we want to talk to.

Also, what you said about knowing cyclists doing 40mile round commutes and drivers who do nearly 100miles to get to wrk is also great for us.

Can I talk to you more about this? is my email address.

posted by sophielloyd [4 posts]
30th June 2011 - 14:41


I'm in NE Scotland, i'm 40 miles from Aberdeen, but people in the village drive there every day and back and i know others who do further commutes

I'll give you an email later on as i'm off to watch the TdF opening ceremony Big Grin

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posted by Gkam84 [9307 posts]
30th June 2011 - 14:51

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I cycle a round trip of 50 miles, largely because I refuse to pay peak fares for travel on a half full (at best) train at 0535 You need to win the lottery to own a house in the Se these days, they claim to build affordable homes but they're not unless you've umpteen grand lying around...

posted by iainecg [9 posts]
30th June 2011 - 19:44


A bit like that here Iain, there was planning in for 250 new houses, now bear in mind this is a village full of people who commute to Aberdeen or are retired, the locals dont get a look in, so they were going to build a "percentage" of affordable housing, which turned out for be 16 houses Big Grin

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posted by Gkam84 [9307 posts]
30th June 2011 - 20:11

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Aberdeen, eh? My birthplace. Left when I was 6 mind (didn't have much choice in it, obviously).

Had been wondering where outside London you could have been that had such a terrible housing situation due to costs/ long commutes, but it's all crystal clear now Wink

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [9308 posts]
30th June 2011 - 20:20


i commute a total of either 50 miles a day by cycle or 40 by train plus 10 by cycle, depending how much energy i have. either set of journies is taking up 3 hours per day.

my driver is not so much house prices (i am actually happier paying more to live where i do than pay less to live where i work), but the reality of being in a project based industry like construction. i dont often get the 5 mile each way commute.

as the years go by i am thinking more and more of moving back into central london (zone 1 & 2) and paying higher property prices, but saving on the train/tube costs and gaining more leisure time by not commuting.

hope this helps you.



posted by stumonts [14 posts]
2nd July 2011 - 20:08


Back when I worked my London commute was a round trip 28km - E18 to the South Bank -(did the Wobbly bridge at 0630 on the day it opened) and thought that quite normal, doable and much quicker and predictable than the bloody tube. But there were guys doing it from Loughton or Epping or Waltham Abbey - just a few kms further but physiologically it seemed like double the distance and quite undo-able.

When you consider how easily people become inured to years and years of the rank experience and cost of a daily commute into any big smoke then provided there are washing facilities at work then biking in seems to be a no brainer once you drive yourself up to the required fitness and get used to a different type of discomfort.

I wouldn't necessarily want to be the only one in the office doing it - a work based support group of kindred spirits certainly helps.



cheers m'dears

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posted by daviddb [128 posts]
4th July 2011 - 9:10


i do woking to central london.. normally with brompton and train.

but once a week I try if feeling energetic to ride all the way in either on my single speed road bike on the road route or on mtb along the rivers path..

road route is 28.5miles each way and rivers route is 34.5miles each way

posted by rootes [46 posts]
6th July 2011 - 12:43


I commute from TW1 to the city everyday, the train and walking takes one and a half hours each way (at a small cost of £185 a month)and cycling takes less than an hour. I had to live so far out as renting prices inside the m25 is rediculous. I pay a grand and live with my partner in a tiny 1 bed flat. We would live closer but the houses just get smaller and the areas becomes less secure and I dont want to share with 10 other people. The cycle route's not bad though now the cycle highway has been introduced.


posted by Alex.wall [11 posts]
13th July 2011 - 12:41

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Hi Alex,
Would you be happy to chat to me over the phone about this in more detail? I'm still interested in hearing about people's stories for the campaign series.
My email is or my no. is 0207 529 9444
Thanks so much,

posted by sophielloyd [4 posts]
13th July 2011 - 14:05


A mediocre 10.5 miles each way for me, from SW20 to EC1 each day. When I moved here from SW11 in January, I had wondered if it would be too far, twice a day, day in - day out but within a week I was used to it and enjoying every minute! Had to move further out when I decided to get a flat by myself, instead of continuing to share. It's simply unaffordable to live alone in zone 2, unless you are on a pretty high salary.


posted by SittingDuck [1 posts]
15th July 2011 - 9:40


Dunno. I would without hesitation buy a more expensive house if it added 5 miles to my commute though, no question.

posted by wyadvd [126 posts]
18th July 2011 - 14:40

1 Like

80km round trip or 40km one way (if I work back late, I can that my bike on the train to avoid the 30kmh gusting to 40kmh headwinds).

But I am on the wrong side of the world for your doco. House prices here, Perth Australia, making living close to the city very expensive too.

But with 32.5km of my commute on a cyclepath that crosses one road and running parallel to train line, it is a good way to get to work.

posted by nickobec [261 posts]
18th July 2011 - 15:17