The link between rail pricing policy and working from home
As the UK vaccination rollout unfolds at pace and the economic recovery gathers momentum, the debate over the impact of working from home on office demand continues. A key influence on the outcome for London will be the extent to which flexible rail pricing is introduced in response to commuter demand. Pre-pandemic some 1.1 million commuters travelled into London daily. Today this has fallen by more than half.
As with many other structural changes, COVID-19 has merely accelerated a pre-existing trend as commuting was already in decline before the pandemic. The outlook for commuting isn’t just an issue for London. National Department of Transport data shows that pre Covid 3 million commuters travelled more than 2 hours per day with 180,000 travelling 3 hours or more. London does however have the longest and most costly commuter routes meaning that it is most exposed to shifting commuter habits.
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