New research from Trainline has found that the number of UK “supercommuters” using rail to travel longer distances to work has doubled since Covid. Almost half (47 per cent) of current supercommuters surveyed made the lifestyle change either during or post-pandemic, and over four in five (84 per cent) of these new supercommuters say hybrid working has enabled this switch in their commuting habits.

Trainline’s survey of 1,004 rail supercommuters, defined as journeys to work of at least 90 minutes, finds that supercommuters are still regulars at their desks – spending an average of three days a week in the office. Despite most supercommuters surveyed spending at least 2 hours travelling in each direction (65 per cent+), it is important for many to find a balance between working from home and the office. The overwhelming majority (93 per cent) of those surveyed believe it’s important they commute often enough to maintain strong bonds with their colleagues and clients.

Three-quarters of supercommuters (73 per cent) surveyed said they are happier with a longer commute than they would be living closer to work. Lifestyle considerations are key to these employees deciding to undertake a longer commute, such as achieving a greater work-life balance (34 per cent), a reduced cost of living (29 per cent) and more opportunities for their family (29 per cent).The top destination for most super commuters (27 per cent) is London, but the phenomenon can be seen across the country with other popular cities including Manchester (6 per cent), Nottingham (5 per cent), and Birmingham (5 per cent).

Trainline also surveyed a group of 1,001 regular UK commuters to assess the potential growth in the number of rail supercommuters. Just over half (51 per cent) said they would be open to supercommuting in the future, with achieving a better work-life balance the number one motivation (63 per cent). The vast majority of this number (84 per cent) would be willing to spend at least 75 minutes on the train.

Commenting on the findings, Sakshi Anand, VP of Growth at Trainline, said: “Hybrid working has helped fundamentally shift work and travel habits over the past few years, with more people now choosing a longer commute so they can both live and work where they want. Our research shows that not only are these rail supercommuters on the rise, but that the phenomenon is here to stay. As more people become supercommuters, they face an array of ticket options with a trade-off between price and flexibility. At Trainline, we can help supercommuters navigate these complex decisions by making it easy to identify and buy the right ticket that gives them the best value for their journey.”

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