57% of employees say they travelled to the office in the past seven days


More than half of Britain’s working adults say they have travelled to the office in the past week, according to a new survey, as employees begin to make their way back to their desks in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown.

Figures from a Office for National Statistics (ONS) survey show 57 per cent of working adults reported that they had travelled to work – either exclusively or in combination with working from home – in the past seven days.

Meanwhile, just 20 per cent said they had worked solely from home.

The findings show an increase from the results of an ONS survey in the last week of June, when 49 per cent of working adults said they had travelled in to work, and 29 per cent said they had worked exclusively at home.

The latest statistics are based on survey responses from 1,644 adults in Britain between August 26 and 30.

More than half of Britain’s working adults say they have travelled to the office in the past week, according to a new survey, as employees begin to make their way back to their desks in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown. Pictured: A woman wearing a face mask walks through central London

Reports had suggested Boris Johnson (pictured) was to launch a major drive to persuade more Britons to return to their workplaces

Reports had suggested Boris Johnson (pictured) was to launch a major drive to persuade more Britons to return to their workplaces

Downing Street insisted there was no such campaign, but instead that it was reminding employers how to make a workplace Covid-safe in a bid to increase office numbers. Pictured: An empty platform at London's Waterloo Station on what would normally be a busy day

Downing Street insisted there was no such campaign, but instead that it was reminding employers how to make a workplace Covid-safe in a bid to increase office numbers. Pictured: An empty platform at London’s Waterloo Station on what would normally be a busy day

The findings come after Downing Street denied the existence of a Government ‘back to work’ campaign.

Pret a Manger axes 2,800 roles from its coffee and sandwich bars – as office workers continue to avoid town centres 

Coffee and sandwich chain Pret a Manger has axed 2,800 roles from its shops as the coronavirus crisis continues to hammer UK plc.

In a statement released last week, chief executive Pano Christou said the coronavirus pandemic ‘has taken away almost a decade of growth at Pret’.

He added that the popular cafe franchise had ‘managed to protect many jobs’ but is ‘gutted that we’ve had to lose so many colleagues’.  

It comes after Cafe chain Costa said 1,650 staff are at risk of redundancy as it looks to cut costs amid continued uncertainty over when trade will fully recover following the pandemic.

It told staff last month that it has started consultations which could impact more than a 10th of roles.

Reports had suggested Boris Johnson was to launch a major drive to persuade more Britons to return to their workplaces, as remote workers were warned they could be more at risk of being sacked.

Downing Street insisted there was no such campaign, but instead that it was reminding employers how to make a workplace Covid-safe in a bid to increase office numbers.

The push to get employees back to the office came amid growing concerns by Tory MPs about the slow speed at which people have returned to their work desks, and after a survey which showed that nine out of 10 people who have worked from home during lockdown want to continue doing so in some capacity in the future.

Meanwhile, a Daily Mail audit of big companies last week found many are not planning for the majority of workers to return to offices until at least towards the end of the year.  

Several bosses said they expected working from home to become the ‘new normal’ after the crisis.

Among the firms contacted by the Mail, consultancy giant KPMG said the majority of its 16,000 office-based workforce were unlikely to return until next year.

Education publisher Pearson, which has about 3,600 office staff, also said workers would not be expected to return potentially until 2021.

It has led ministers to fear huge job losses in town and city centre shops and cafes if workers do not return to their pre-lockdown commuter patterns.

Figures released last month laid bare the scale of the crisis the high street was facing even before coronavirus hit.

Several bosses said they expected working from home to become the 'new normal' after the crisis. Pictured: A small number of commuters around the usually busy Bank of England yesterday

Several bosses said they expected working from home to become the ‘new normal’ after the crisis. Pictured: A small number of commuters around the usually busy Bank of England yesterday 

Employment in shops in town and city centres fell by a quarter in some places between 2015 and 2018, and dropped in three quarters of local authorities.

Train services will be ramped up from September 7 to 90% of pre-Covid levels

With schools returning and office numbers increasing, train services will be ramped up from September 7 to 90 per cent of pre-Covid levels as schools reopen and more workers return to the office.

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents train operators and Network Rail, said services across Britain will be increased to around 90 per cent of pre-coronavirus pandemic levels from September 7.

Timetables were slashed in March as the virus led to a reduction in available railway workers and demand for travel.

The RDG said new timetables being introduced next month have been devised through communication with schools and other places of education in a bid to run more frequent services or add extra carriages on potentially busy routes.

Schools in England and Wales are reopening in early September.

ScotRail increased services earlier this month ahead of lessons resuming at Scottish schools.

The figures emerged amid fears that urban areas are being ‘hollowed out’ because so many people are still working from home due to coronavirus.

There are concerns that the destruction of the so-called lunchtime economy will fuel huge numbers of of jobs losses as the impact of the pandemic reverberates.

Cafe chain Costa has said 1,650 staff are at risk of redundancy as it looks to cut costs amid continued uncertainty over when trade will fully recover following the pandemic.

Coffee and sandwich chain Pret a Manger last month announced plans to axe 2,800 roles from its shops as the coronavirus crisis continues to hammer UK plc. 

It’s believed at least 41,391 UK jobs have been claimed or put under threat since the lockdown was introduced in late March. 

But with schools returning and office numbers increasing, train services will be ramped up from September 7 to 90 per cent of pre-Covid levels as schools reopen and more workers return to the office.

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents train operators and Network Rail, said services across Britain will be increased to around 90% of pre-coronavirus pandemic levels from September 7.

Timetables were slashed in March as the virus led to a reduction in available railway workers and demand for travel.

On the roads, startling pictures have revealed how many of London’s growing array of cycle lanes lie empty, while traffic piles up in narrowed roads nearby as Sadiq Khan’s war on motorists continues.

Photographs taken this week across the capital in the likes of Tooting, Streatham, Balham, Islington, Mayfair and Victoria showed how the lanes were empty while cars and vans sat in heavy traffic alongside them.

Timetables were slashed in March as the virus led to a reduction in available railway workers and demand for travel

Timetables were slashed in March as the virus led to a reduction in available railway workers and demand for travel

Cars, vans and buses queue along Upper Street in Islington, North London, next to an empty cycle lane at 5pm yesterday

Cars, vans and buses queue along Upper Street in Islington, North London, next to an empty cycle lane at 5pm yesterday

A lone cyclist travels along a bike lane on Park Lane in London's exclusive Mayfair district at 2.30pm yesterday

A lone cyclist travels along a bike lane on Park Lane in London’s exclusive Mayfair district at 2.30pm yesterday

Empty new bike lanes cause long queues of cars and vans along Balham High Road in South London at 10.30am today

Empty new bike lanes cause long queues of cars and vans along Balham High Road in South London at 10.30am today

The new lanes were brought in to encourage people to cycle to work by giving them more space and reduce the pressure on public transport amid fears over social distancing issues on the Underground and buses.

It comes as Transport for London had to ask the Government for a £4.5billion bailout after its revenue plummeted by 90 per cent and it quickly burned through its £2billion reserves after the coronavirus lockdown was imposed in March. 

Meanwhile, reports have also surfaced suggesting there was a rift in Government over whether the timing was right to be encouraging staff to return to their desks, with the coronavirus rate still growing in parts of the country.

Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith told the Mail: ‘The Government needs to stop with its mixed messages.

‘It needs to stop being equivocal and be clear that it is safe to go back to work and take public transport. ‘If you’re under 40 and fit and healthy you have more chance of dying while riding your bike than dying from Covid.

‘People need to start properly weighing up the balance of risk. These employers are absolutely bloody mad for not getting more employees back – all the other small firms that rely on offices being back will go bust.’

Hammersmith and Fulham chiefs expand spy camera scheme to snare ‘outsider’ motorists in latest war on cars in the capital 

A council in an affluent London’s area has been accused of ‘greed’ after expanding a scheme fining drivers £130 for entering a neighbourhood without a permit.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council in fashionable West London is targeting motorists who use five residential roads in a neighbourhood adjoining the River Thames.

It is believed to be Britain’s first initiative of its kind which restricts access to public roads and virtually cuts off an entire residential area to all those without a permit.

The move has made the area a no-go for motorcyclists and delivery van drivers who are now having to find alternative routes to avoid the camera-controlled roads, while residents within the area must buy permits for anyone wishing to visit them.

The scheme was initially trialled on three roads earlier this year and has prompted fears other councils may also follow suit as a way of raising much needed revenue.

The closures have taken place near the congested Wandsworth Bridge Road, which normally sees 40,000 vehicles cross it every day and is undergoing a £6million refurbishment scheme resulting in single lane traffic across it for two months.

It compounds traffic issues after the 133-year-old Hammersmith Bridge was closed indefinitely to motorists in April 2019, and Vauxhall Bridge is closed for 16 weeks.

Motorists in London have been badly affected, facing hours in gridlock as a result of road changes and roadworks which have made driving a nightmare experience.

And new AA data revealed today that there are 1,950 roadworks in place across Britain – a rise of 42 per cent from the figure of 1,331 three weeks ago on August 11.

Britons have spent weeks blasting London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s war on motorists amid calls for traffic restrictions imposed amid the coronavirus pandemic to be scrapped.

Roads in the capital are suffering from major congestion as Prime Minister Boris Johnson continues to call on people to return to the office, with less space for cars thanks to schemes aimed at giving more room to cyclists and helping people avoid public transport.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council insist that the scheme, which it refers to as ‘Low Traffic Neighbourhoods’ is designed to make roads safer, ‘more pleasant’ and help reduce air pollution. 

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