Transport minister urges employers to allow staff to work one day a fortnight from home

Employers are to be urged by Norman Baker, a transport minister, to allow staff to work one day a fortnight from home as part of the government’s drive to cut transport congestion.

Incentives could be introduced to encourage flexible working, and train companies will encouraged to overhaul how season tickets are sold, so people who only spend part of the week at an office are not penalised, the Telegraph has reported.

Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrats’ transport minister, believes traditional travel patterns have to change if the coalition is to create the low-carbon economy it promised, and has instructed officials to work out how his ideas can be brought into practice.

“Part of my brief as a transport minister is to sometimes encourage you not to travel. I want to be the first virtual transport minister,” he told the Telegraph.

“This isn’t just pie in the sky; it could really work with just a little bit of flexibility.

Baker’s initiative could ease pressure on the UK’s overstretched transport network, which is bracing itself for sweeping spending cuts in the autumn, according to the Telegraph.

“The kind of initiatives I’m working on will do away with the rush hour. Reducing demand will reduce congestion, pollution and stress in our daily lives. Working just one day in 10 from home would have a huge impact,” Baker said.

“For example, homeworking could do wonders for that work-life balance we all strive for. So you drop the children off at school, work in the office 9.30 until 2pm, go and pick them up, then work a couple more hours from home.

Baker also wants rail companies to sell cornets as well as season tickets.

This would enable people to pay for their journeys in batches while enjoying the discount offered to season ticket holders.

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