Blogs > Life in the UK / Useful Information

Commuting to work in the UK

  • November 25, 2019

According to government data, the average UK commuting time is 54 minutes, up from 45 minutes last decade. On average, a Brit will spend 400 days of their life commuting.

There are various reasons why an individual chooses to commute to work, rather than find a job closer to home. Most commuters travel from a small town, village or rural area to a city or large town where there are a wider range of employment opportunities. Did you know that only 5.9% of the UK is urban? The remainder is farm and natural land which means that a commute is essential for many people.

Advantages of Commuting

  • Better quality of life
  • Closer to family
  • Save money on higher living costs
  • The ability to catch up on sleep (public transport)
  • Better entertainment options
  • Catch up on work

Disadvantages of Commuting

  • The cost of travel is expensive
  • Longer working days
  • Reduced time with spouse and children
  • Lower energy levels

Commuting Options

Where you live and work in the UK will depend on how you decide to commute to work.


  • Over a third of the UK population (36%) use their car to get to work

Environment Protection UK has demonstrated the negative impacts of car pollution in the UK. They report that road transport contributes 22% of total UK emissions of CO2 and its high noise level adversely affect 30% of the UK population.

If it is absolutely essential that you have to travel to work by car, then you could consider the following ways to reduce your fuel consumpton and save money:

  • Drive more efficiently: lowering your overall speed and changing gear earlier will burn less fuel
  • Check your tyre pressure: Under inflated tyres will significantly increase your fuel consumption
  • Drive less: Try and drive for three days of the week and get public transport for two days
  • Purchase an electric car: The cost of charging your electric car is about a third to that of petrol and diesel 

Public Transport

  • Over 10% of workers commute only by bus and 9% by train

Trains cost the most to commute, with the average spend across the UK being £193 a month and a maxmimum spend of £365 a month for workers commuting into London.

Even if your local bus route does not cover your commute door-to-door, you might consider using it to get as close as possible and then walk or cycle the rest of the way. Using a park and ride scheme is also another alternative as it could help you avoid the hassle of having to find and pay for expensive city centre parking.

Most public transport systems tend to offer travel cards to reduce your spend than to pay for individual fares. However, the cost of a season ticket for your rail or bus fare can seen expensive in the first instance. Some NHS hospitals offer interest-free season ticket loan schemes to their employees, so check if this applies to you. If the scheme is not available in your hospital, you could consider purchasing the ticket off on a 0% credit card and pay it off in monthly instalments. If you do choose this pathway, please may sure to pay the cost off in full before the 0% comes to an end.

Cycling and Walking

  • 6% of the population walk to work
  • 31% combine walking with their daily commute
  • 3% of UK workers cycle to work

On average, a person will cycle 14 miles to work. However, some extreme cases were highlighted which hit 19 miles.

If your commute to work is relatively short and the route has cycle paths, you might want to consider cycling. As well as reducing your carbon foot print it will also keep you healthy and fit.

Before you purchase your bike, check to see if your NHS hospital offers a Cycle to Work Scheme. The scheme gives you the opportunity to purchase a bike of your choice, with the necessary safety gear, tax free.

Similarly to cycling, walking is only really an option for those with a shorter commute. Walking is a great way to get to know your local area.

How do BDI Resourcing get to work?

BDI Resourcing is based in the centre of Bristol (a very busy major city) and in total, 134.8 miles a day are travelled by employees getting to and from work. The average mile travelled per day is 4.2 and the average travel time is 36 minutes 11 seconds.

BDI Resourcing travel v UK average

Type of travel

BDI Resourcing

















To summarise, BDI Resourcing is a very green company with no-one using the car to get to work. Most of us use public transport and a quarter of us walk to work, improving fitness levels. However, we do beat the UK average of an individual spending over 30 minutes to commute to work, with our average being 36 minutes and 11 seconds.

Relocation to the UK

If you are an international doctor who has decided that the UK is for you, email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your journey to the UK today.

Are you a member of our Facebook Group? When you join IMG Advisor, you will join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of blogs and vlogs into the group every single day. We will also always be on hand to answer all your relocation queries.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 45 videos on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS!


Totaljobs. (2019). 36% of the UK population still drive to work, only 3% cycle | Totaljobs. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Nov. 2019].

BBC News. (2019). How much of your area is built on?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Nov. 2019].

Matt, F. (2019). 7 simple ways to cut the cost of your commute. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Nov. 2019]. (2019). Half of workers wouldn’t take a job with an hour’s commute | Acas. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Nov. 2019].


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