Supporting information for our Rush Hour Routes interactive tool is detailed below.

Commute Calculations

The definition of ‘most stressful commute’ is based on comparing commutes inputted into this tool. These commutes are a mixture of a pre-defined list of 120 popular commuting routes around 12 major cities in the UK, along with user-generated commutes.

‘Most stressful’ commutes are defined by the time increase percentage. The higher the time increase percentage during rush hour vs clear run, the more stressful the commute is defined as. On occasions where the percentage increase is the same for two commutes, the commute with the longest mileage takes favour as the ‘most stressful’.

Users will see a visual of their route, including key stats such as:

  • Round Trip time at rush hour time
  • Round Trip time at a clear time
  • Time percentage increase – how much longer you travel in rush hour compared to a clear run
  • Number of days spent commuting per year

A user’s commute is then ranked (i.e. compared) to others within the tool:

  • Commute ranking compared to others in said city
  • Commute ranking compared to others in said region
  • Commute ranking compared to others in UK

Definitions

We have worked with Dr Dawn Sant, anger and stress management expert, to help us develop the right language to use for this tool.

Whether a commute is stressful to a user is very much down to that individual, but, ultimately, a short commute route that takes a disproportionately long time to travel due to traffic congestion is generally considered to be ‘stressful’ for many and varied reasons. However, there is no direct research evidence to support this.

The definition of ‘stressful’ in this tool is used as a reflection of the percentage time increase in the commute whereby round trips achieved close to the clear time are lower stress and round trips achieved with a large percentage time increase are more stressful.

For the purposes of this tool, Rush Hour time is a set time defined as 7.45am on a Tuesday morning and Non- Rush Hour is defined as 3.00am on a Sunday morning.

Data Disclaimer

In order to protect a user’s identity and anonymise the data submitted to the tool, we will never use the exact location as a starting or end point when plotting the commute route:

  • The zoom level is restricted so that users cannot see the precise start and end locations of commuter lines.
  • Postcodes are protected by censoring the second half of the postcode.
  • No personal information is stored with the route.