The housing crisis and lack of spending on roads and railways is leading to longer commutes for workers, a new study has shown.
The number of people spending more than two hours travelling to and from work every day has jumped by 72% over the past decade to over three million, it was revealed.
Women have suffered most from the increase in long commuting, with a 131% rise in those travelling three hours or more since 2004, said the TUC.
The biggest increases in long commutes have been in the South East, South West, East Midlands and Wales.
The union organisation said soaring rents and high house prices, coupled with the UK’s “creaking” infrastructure had led to people having to spend longer getting to work.
More low paid workers are facing longer and costlier commutes just to get to work, said the TUC.
General secretary Frances O’Grady said: “It’s bad enough most of us spend an hour a day getting to and from work , but spare a thought for those extreme commuters who travel for more than 10, or even 15, hours a week.
“Employers need to address the problem that many of their staff are spending an ever-increasing number of hours getting to and from work.
“More home and flexi-working could easily be introduced to allow people to cut their commutes and save money. This would not only be popular with workers, but fewer, better-spaced journeys would help to beat overcrowding on the roads and railways.”
Phil Flaxton, chief executive of campaign group Work Wise, said: “Are we really prepared to move into winter with the same anticipated long and often disrupted commutes? Or, are we going to change the way we work by commuting less with the aid of internet and mobile technologies.
“Employers should grasp this opportunity by changing the way employees work and commute and introduce more flexibility to cut out these restrictive influences on business performance as well as the wellbeing of their employees.”
A Government spokesman said: “Government initiatives have helped more than 230,000 people to buy since 2010, and we are supporting record investment in transport infrastructure – more than £127bn between now and 2020.
“We have got Britain building again, with the latest figures showing that new homes are up by 9% on this time last year as well as investing £15bn to increase the capacity and conditions of England’s roads, and embarking on the most ambitious programme of rail upgrades since the Victorian era.”