Long distance commuters

Saturday's Guardian had a story about commuters from London starting to commute from furthe afield -- in this case, Spain -- thanks to Europe's cheap flights. I found the story interesting for three reasons:

  1. First, it's a sign of a trend continuing. There have been stories in the media for some time about people commuting to London from France and this seems like an extension of that. How far can they go?
  2. It's a good example of a social change resulting from the combination of at least three separate trends: the UK's ever-rising property prices; the ever-congested roads and run-down public transport; and the development of the cheap flights market (each, in turn, caused by separate trends of course). What would happen if these trends continue, or one or more change?
  3. Having said all that, is this really a trend? It's just a newspaper story that cites no figures, merely a few pieces of anecdotal evidence. As such, the same story could probably have been written any time since the arrival of cheap air fares. Maybe the reporter just couldn't think of anything more newsworthy and had a couple of friends who made the long-distance commute. One vague story does not a trend make.

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