40% of commuters would take pay cut to work nearer home

Some 16 per cent of men leave home before 6am compared to eight per cent of women

‘Depending on which train it can take 30 minutes or 45 minutes and when I get to Heuston it’s about a 25-minute walk to the city centre,’ says Enda Finn. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

‘Depending on which train it can take 30 minutes or 45 minutes and when I get to Heuston it’s about a 25-minute walk to the city centre,’ says Enda Finn. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

 

The average journey time for commuters in counties Kildare and Meath travelling to work is one hour and nine minutes, preliminary results of a new survey indicates.

Nearly nine out of 10 surveyed commuters are “very interested” in working closer to home, while 41 per cent in both counties would take a pay cut in order to work closer to home.

More than 5,500 people have taken part in the online survey so far, which is being carried out by Kildare and Meath county councils.

Of those who have completed the survey, 43 per cent say it takes between one and one-and-a-half hours to get to work while 12 per cent have a commute time of between one-and-a-half and two hours.

The majority of commuters who have taken part are commuting to Dublin every day (81 per cent of Co Meath participants and 83 per cent of Co Kildare participants).

Men tend to leave earlier to commute to work, with 16 per cent leaving before 6am compared to eight per cent of women. Over half of male commuters (53 per cent) leave before 7am in comparison to 45 per cent of females.

My employer is very flexible, they don’t mind me working at home as long as the work gets done

More respondents in Co Meath (64 per cent) are dissatisfied with the costs of travelling to work compared to Co Kildare commuters (56 per cent).

The survey, which runs until the end of this week, has been advertised in local and national media as well as on social media. Both local authorities said they want to investigate and understand commuter trends in order to put in place “meaningful solutions”.

Andrew Kinnane commutes from Slane, Co Meath to Sandyford in Dublin most days for his job in a technology company.

“If I leave early it would take me 50 minutes. If I go later it could be anything from an hour up to two hours depending on how busy the M50 happens to be,” he says.

“My employer is very flexible, they don’t mind me working at home as long as the work gets done but I would come in for meetings and that.

“Most people that I know from around where I live, a lot of them would be commuting to Dublin. That’s where the jobs are.”

I walk because the Luas is just literally crammed and you’re waiting 10 or 15 minutes to get on a train because it’s so full

Mr Kinnane, who is originally from Dublin, said flexible working arrangements would be an “easy fix” for commuters.

“Obviously you could say better rail and bus links [should be put in place] but that’s not a click your fingers and it’s done scenario. The only way I can get from Slane to Dublin using public transport is on a bus, there’s no train line out to Navan or anything like that, it goes as far as Dunboyne. There’s a huge catchment area there that have to drive,” he added.

Enda Finn, who works in the IT sector, leaves his home in Kildare town at 7.30am to get a train to Heuston station.

“Depending on which train it can take 30 minutes or 45 minutes and when I get to Heuston it’s about a 25-minute walk to the city centre,” he says.

“I walk because the Luas is just literally crammed and you’re waiting 10 or 15 minutes to get on a train because it’s so full. I’ll arrive into work just before 9am.

“I used to work in Blackrock and it was a guaranteed drive of an hour and a half. If I got public transport it would have been two hours. There is no infrastructure, everything has to go through the city centre.”

Commuters can take part in the survey at http://www.commutersurvey.ie.