UK employers suffer massive productivity shortfall from staff using road not rail for business trips

British companies are wasting millions of hours of staff time because employees choose to travel by car rather than by train on business trips, according to research.

A team at Napier University’s Transport Research Institute concluded that businesses are wasting billions of pounds after analysing 90 individual door-to-door train journeys. It found UK workers were racking up 27 billion business miles each year on the roads.

The research claims that businesses save up to 70% on a single train journey compared to a car journey, having factored in journey times, train fares versus motoring costs, and how productive employees could be while travelling.

Professor Howard Kirby, who led the research at Napier University, said the study showed that productivity on a train could save employers significant amounts.

“While our results focus on key routes for Virgin Trains, the principles can be applied to any journey on which a person can work,” he said. “This is an important policy area for government too – something it should be considering when evaluating rail schemes, this data has not been available before.”

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