Today, The Independent reported that, by 2014, commuters will face ‘intolerable’ overcrowding on the UK’s rail network.

An official parliamentary inquiry noted that crucial targets for increasing capacity on trains, including a £9 billion investment programme designed to double the number of places, will be missed.

These missed targets will mean that efforts to keep overcrowding at current levels will fall short over the next four years, despite annual fare increases of 3% above inflation levels.

According to the Commons Public Accounts Committee peak commuter services will bear the brunt of the problems as a shortfall in additional places means that more people will be made to stand or delay their journey to catch later trains.

Committee chair Labour MP Margaret Hodge said of the future problems:

This committee is concerned that, for commuters, the already unacceptable levels of overcrowding will simply get worse and ever more intolerable.”

The cost of commuting is also likely to continue to rise, despite the committee noting it was “not clear where the money from increased fares has been spent”.

However, commuters could avoid the worsening crush for peak-time services by taking advantage of the benefits of Internet technology.

Utilising services such as business VoIP, Exchange email and remote desktops create a cost-effective and flexible alternative to the frustrating daily slog.

Commuters can easily create a virtual office and work from home without disrupting their work:

  • Plugging a VoIP phone into their home broadband would connect them to their company’s phone system, with the same number as if they were at their desk.
  • All their important emails, tasks and diary dates would be accessible through a web browser thanks to Hosted Exchange.
  • Lastly, they can access and control their work computer from their home computer using tools such as Remote Desktop Connection on Windows.

For more information about how Gradwell can help you create your virtual office contact our sales team on 01225 800 808 or at to discuss your business needs.

(Image by John Seb Barber)


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