• The World’s Greatest Commute1 takes drivers on a five-mile virtual journey through the middle of the Norwegian Sea with a snow-peaked mountain skyline.
• One in three (34%) UK commuters would move house for a better drive to work and one in five (21%) say better scenery would improve the journey.
• Norway – yet again – lives up to its name as the happiest place to live (UN World Happiness Report 2017)2.
• Local residents share their incredible commute with the world (transcripts).
As the summer comes to an end and back-to-work season begins, new research reveals of the 22.5 million UK motorists3 who drive to work, two in five (40%) would change their job for a better commute.
So to help drivers escape the reality of the term-time rush, Confused.com – the car savings site – has released a virtual journey of the world’s greatest commute1.
Available to experience using VR headgear or on-screen in 360 view, the film takes drivers on a 5.2 mile commute along the Atlanterhavsvegen – or Atlantic Ocean Road – which winds through an archipelago of partially-inhabited islands peppering the Norwegian Sea. Motorists can immerse themselves in a truly captivating journey with breathtaking, unsheltered views of the Atlantic Ocean balanced by a skyline of serene snow-peaked mountains.
|Alanterhavsvegan / Atlantic Ocean Road: The Facts
• Construction started in 1983 and opened six years later in 19894,5.
• During construction it was hit by 12 hurricanes5.
• Cost £122 million Norwegian krone (or almost £12 million in today's money) to build6.
• Consists of eight bridges4.
• Storseisundbrua is the longest bridge (850ft) and is the road's iconic symbol.
‘The Road in the Ocean’4 is the stuff of dreams for over half (52%) of UK commuters who would like a better drive to work. In fact, two in five (40%) say they would go as far as changing their job for a better commute, with one in 10 (10%) willing to do so even if they had to take on an entirely different role. Some (3%) say they would make the sacrifice of switching jobs for a better commute even if it meant they were paid less money. And one in three (34%) would even consider moving house or relocating for a better drive to work.
There are several reasons some UK commuters would do anything to change their daily route. While the most aggravating factor appears to be traffic (73%), one in four (26%) also claim they find their daily journey boring. And the one in five (21%) who say better scenery would improve their commute to work are certain to find respite in the 360 experience of the Atlantic Ocean Road. When asked about the perfect scenery for driving to work, over half (55%) of UK commuters said they would like a view of water of the sea, while one in three (35%) preferred a mountain view. Fortunately, the Atlanterhavsvegen ticks both boxes.
Given that Norway has a founded reputation as being the happiest place to live1, it’s little surprise that it is home to the world’s greatest commute and local residents certainly realise how lucky they are.
Gunnhild Bae-Pettersen, a high-school teacher who used the Atlantic Ocean Road to commute to work each day, says: “Of course every Norwegian knows about the road. But also a lot of people from abroad know about the road, and it’s always nice to talk about it when people go, 'Yes, I know that road – I’ve heard about it before. Oh, I really want to go there'.
"And when you tell that you live there, they are very ecstatic, and they almost just can’t believe it – so that is cool. For me it is just a part of my life. I don’t think about it as a really amazing thing. But sometimes it just strikes me that – wow – it is."
Some of the local residents have a history with the road going back to before its formation in 1983. Halstein Stene, 72, is a retiree who chaired the building and administration of the road between 1982 and 2002. He says: “It’s very easy, very relaxed. Just to look out on the water, and sit down, and have a smoke, and drive home again. And then I say, 'I have washed my soul'.
“Usually it’s blowing here. And then it’s very special, very big waves. At certain parts the waves come over the road. On the 1st January 1992, it was a terrible gale. It still scares me. So when it’s blowing up today, I’m still actually anxious."
Even though many UK drivers are not as lucky as those in Norway when it comes to their daily commuter experience, it seems the journey to work is a key factor when making major life decisions. Almost three in four (71%) of those who drive to work say a better commute would factor into their decision if they were changing their job, with more than a third (35%) of these saying it would be an important or main factor. And almost two in three (63%) say it would be a deciding factor if they were in a position to move home, while one in four (27%) say it would be an important or the main factor.
Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, says: “A great commute is nothing but a distant dream for UK drivers returning to work after the summer break. But thanks to virtual reality and 360 film, we’ve brought it just a little bit closer.
“While most motorists are not fortunate enough to have a commute which drives them through the middle of the ocean, there are some beautiful drives across the UK. By getting up a little bit earlier to avoid the rush and making a short detour via your favourite local route could make your commute more bearable.”
Notes to editors
For more information including interview transcripts and behind-the-scenes imagery, visit: https://www.confused.com/car-insurance/worlds-greatest-commute/photos-transcripts
Unless otherwise stated, all figures taken from omnibus research carried out by One Poll on behalf of Confused.com. This was an online poll of 2,000 UK adults who drive to work regularly. The research was conducted between 16th August 2017 and 23rd August 2017.
1. World’s Greatest Commute 360 film is available to view here: https://www.confused.com/car-insurance/worlds-greatest-commute
2. UN Happiness Report: http://worldhappiness.report/ed/2017/
3. Department for Transport figures show there are 45.5 million driving licence holders in Britain (Sept 2014) – 56.26% of this equals 22,490,133, rounded up to 22.5 million.
4. Opened in 1989 https://www.visitnorway.com/places-to-go/fjord-norway/northwest/listings-northwest/national-tourist-route-atlanterhavsvegen/11862/
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