You could travel to and from work much quicker simply by starting or finishing later


According to new research conducted by Highways England, commuters could speed up their journey to and from work by simply starting and finishing later.

Drivers could in fact gain an extra 10 miles per hour if they chose to start and finish work later – saving them a full one hour a week of time spent on the road.

Highways England monitored a nine-mile stretch of the M62 which links the M6 near Warrington to the M60 near Manchester. It’s estimated that around 120,000 vehicles use this stretch of road every day, so the survey didn’t struggle for data.

You could travel to and from work much quicker simply by starting or finishing later

Starting and finishing work later could save you a full hour a week on the roads. © Copyright David Howard and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


What the survey did find is that commuters who head for work after 9am arrive much quicker than those who travel between 7am and 9am.

Once the work day is over, drivers who leave at 6pm will travel 10 miles per hour faster than drivers who decide to leave work at 5pm and if they waited until 7pm, they’d be able to travel 20mph faster!

These figures mean that the average commuter journey time could be reduced by around a third.

What Highways England believe is that on an average 20-mile journey, a person working 9 to 5 could end up spending a whole extra hour per week on the road in comparison to someone working from 10am to 6pm.

Mike Bull from Highways England said: “It’s surprising that shifting our working days by just one hour could have such a significant impact on journey times.”

As Mr Bull points out, some people may not have a choice about what time they start or finish but “if some are able to start and finish work an hour later, it could benefit everyone – and save some drivers an hour each week.”

Highways England came about their findings after monitoring traffic speed on the M62 during its upgrade to a smart motorway. The upgrade is much needed, as before the work started the average speed between 5pm to 6pm was just 36 miles per hour.


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