Research methodology

The focus of this study is the cost of commuting to London for work.

We have used 17 of the most popular commuter towns to calculate these costs. These are: Chatham, Luton, Basildon, Harlow, Southend, Maidstone, Slough, Worthing, Chelmsford, Reading, Fleet, Tunbridge Wells, Hemel Hempstead, Oxford, Guildford, Beaconsfield and St Albans.

To be able to provide a consistent benchmark we have used Kings Cross as our nominal London office location for the purpose of calculating the commute.

In addition to the primary train commute we have factored in London Underground transfers, and we have also made an allowance of 15 mins to and from people’s homes to their home commuter station.

London journey times are taken from CityMapper app (with the exception of Worthing, with an estimation being taken from Google Maps) based on an arrival to work time of 9am on a Monday and a departure from work at 6pm on Monday (assumption that this is an “average” London working day).

We have used the 2020 fares as listed by Trainline to calculate the train season tickets, and has been combined this with London Transport’s 2020 Zone 1-2 monthly Oyster card charges.

When we refer to the  average London annual salary of £37,000 per year this is taken from the Pay Scale estimation.  £28,695 is an approximation of the net salary after tax that an employee would receive based on the gross salary of £37,000 calculated using the MoneySavingExpert.com income tax calculator.

When we refer to the average cost of £5.08 per hour for childcare in the UK, this is taken from a study into national child care costs done by The Money Advice Service.

We have calculated a working year as 261 days, and we have used 25 days as the average holiday allocation.