Commuters sacrifice lifestyle to pay for transport costs

Jun 16, 2013


That’s according to a new consumer survey from advisors PwC. Its Voice of the Consumer survey published earlier this week, found that 60% of full-time workers in the South East have experienced increased travel-to-work costs over the past year with 29% telling researchers their travel costs had increased “a great deal”.
And 24% of those who have seen their transport costs increase cut back on long-term savings and about one in three have cut back on eating out.
PwC analyst Mark Foster, based at the firm’s Milton Keynes office, said: “The findings of our research have highlighted that in this era of austerity, many people are having to make difficult choices across their essential spend and lifestyle choices, in particular around long-term investments, leisure activities and groceries.
“Another interesting trend is a proportion of respondents are looking at relocating and or finding alternative transport modes to make the cost of travel cheaper.” 
PwC commissioned a survey of 2,000 people across the UK regions and found that South East commuters have the highest travel costs amongst the eight UK regions, with average annual travel costs of £1,422, followed by those in the Midlands (£1,376) and Northern Ireland (£1,301).
Transport components of the Consumer Prices Index have risen on average by 5.4% every year since 2009.
PwC’s senior economic adviser Andrew Sentence said: “Transport costs have been rising for a number of years and  the transport component of the CPI is one of the areas where prices have risen the fastest over this period.
"This is nearly three times the 2% inflation target and way ahead of the modest wage increases employees are seeing in their pay-packets.
“For many people, travelling is an essential area of expenditure which is required to get to work and to maintain contact with family and friends. It is not surprising therefore, that this survey suggests that consumers have had to make cutbacks in other areas of spending to pay for higher travel costs."
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