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Money Programme BBC2
23 February 2007

Britain's commuters have the worst deal in all of Europe. We spend longer in our cars and trains than anyone else.

But now there's a revolution going on among the workforce as more and more people are moving to mainland Europe and still keeping their job in the UK.

It's all being made possible thanks to cheap air travel, the growth of flexible working and an increase in communication technology.

And the trend is likely to gather pace later this year when the new high speed Chunnel link comes into operation.

Cross-border commuters

What was once the preserve of the rich and famous is now a possibility for many.

Budget flights to France are full of British commuters

Such as Justin Saunders who used to live with his wife and two daughters in a two-bedroom house in West Sussex.

Fed up with the cost of living and his one-and-a-half hour each way daily commute to his office in Hampshire, they sold up and moved to France.

They bought a beautiful five bedroom house with a pool in the idyllic village of Albas, South-West France.

Included in the £180,000 price was a separate cottage that was the same size as their old place in England.

"It's amazing," says Mr Saunders.

"We're still pinching ourselves. We've transformed our lives completely."

Mr Saunders believes his improved surroundings justify his weekly five-hour commute by budget airline back to Hampshire.

And he is not alone.

The Money Programme was keen to find out how many passengers on the Gatwick to Toulouse flight were regular commuters and a show of hands suggested that at least one in three of the passengers were.

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