Londoners could 'save £43,000' by continuing to work from home

Abigail Fenton
·Writer
·3-min read
Only 21% of London commuters have travelled by tube in the last six months – down from 88% before the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Tim Bechervaise/Unsplash
Only 21% of London commuters have travelled by tube in the last six months – down from 88% before the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Tim Bechervaise/Unsplash

London commuters could save more than £43,000 ($56,000) in travel costs if they continue to work from home, according to a study.

Based on London’s average commuting cost of £118 per month, if workers in the capital were to continue to work from home until the end of 2021, they would have saved £2,478 since the UK first went into lockdown in March, a study by Gocompare found.

If they were to continue to work from home for the next 30 years, these savings would amount to a total of £43,542.

The analysis of government transport data also found the London Underground has seen one of the biggest losses of passengers and revenue of any form of public transport during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the number of commuters dropping by 67%.

Only 21% of London commuters have travelled by tube in the last six months – down from 88% before the coronavirus pandemic, with more workers working remotely on relying on “safer” modes of transport.

Watch: What is the Job Support Scheme and how has it changed?

READ MORE: Coronavirus — How to stay safe on your commute

Cycling has become the most popular form of transport by a landslide, with commuters by bike increasing by 45% in the last six months.

Cycling is now the most popular way to commute by a landslide, being the only form of transport to experience an increase during the last six months. The number of London residents who have cycled to work has increased by 45% since pre-pandemic levels, with many choosing it as the safest option for them.

Trains and buses have seen a huge decrease in use, as the government tries to reduce the number of people travelling around the country. Commuting on the train has dropped a massive 80% compared to 104% pre-pandemic levels, while commuters on the bus have dropped by 65%.

The use of cars across the UK has also seen a small decrease, with 92% of people using driving as a form of transport prior to the pandemic, compared to 97% pre-pandemic.

However, now the public is slowly returning to work, more UK residents are choosing a car as their comfortable form of transport. In the height of COVID-19, those using their cars dropped to as low as 22%, with most of the UK stopping using their cars from as early as 17 of March, five days before lockdown was officially put in place.

READ MORE: UK workers lose over five days a year to commuting problems

Since the initial drop to 33% in April, the rate of drivers using their cars is slowly increasing where now it's almost back to pre-corona numbers.

“It’s interesting to see the fluctuation between public and personal transport being made by UK residents as we navigate through the coronavirus pandemic,” said Mark Greening from GoCompare.

“With ever changing guidelines and an uncertain future, UK residents definitely appear to feel safer in minimum capacity travel such as cars and cycling.”

“The London Underground has seen the biggest drop in use, and although use of the bus had just started to pick-up in recent months, this is beginning to downturn again, which will result in more cars on the road.

He added: “It’s hard to judge how this will impact UK travel in the future, and when people will feel confident again in public transport.”

Watch: Hand sanitiser stations installed across London Underground network