Any other business

With tube strikes and more to manage, here's a look inside the minds of London's commuters

2 min read

03 September 2015

Former deputy editor

Commuting has been compared to visiting the dentist, but a new study has taken a look inside the minds of London's commuters to discover what goes through their heads when battling into work.

MBNA Thames Clippers is behind the research, which comes ahead of the river bus service introducing two new boats to its fleet in late September.

Understandably, it found that the biggest problems that commuters have with travelling around London are the severe lack of personal space and ghastly smelly people – who seem to think of not using deodorant as a lifestyle choice – at 16.3 per cent and 7.9 per cent, respectively.

Of course, if you’re one of these commuters, you’ll know that zoning out into your own world is one of the coping mechanisms that can be adopted to deal with the torture – especially with tube strikes to endure.

As such, 12.4 per cent of people admitted they’re jealous of Harrry Potter’s broomstick-based means of travel, while 10.6 per cent favoured Barack Obama’s Air Force One jet, and 8.3 per cent fancied a speedboat – James Bond style.

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“Apparently we spend a total of 18 months of our lives commuting and while we can’t promise flying broomsticks or private speedboats, the permanent additional capacity with two new boats to our river bus services between Putney and Blackfriars offers a more comfortable and efficient commute for the increasing numbers of people who are capitalising on the benefit of travelling by water,” said Sean Collins, CEO, MBNA Thames Clippers.

Aside from being a wizard, president or spy, 15.8 per cent said choosing a seat would make their journey more tolerable – with 14.7 per cent doing all they can to sit down. The perfect temperature was also desired, as 15.4 per cent would like air conditioning in the summer and 13.2 per cent would like heating in the winter.

Other approaches used to get through the commute without losing the will to live saw 40.1 per cent saw they read, listen to music or watch films and TV shows.

Elsewhere, 20.9 per cent just think happy thoughts – namely daydreaming about the weekend or a holiday, presumably in an environment free of body odours.