A poll of over 5,500 commuters across five major European cities has found that London commuters are late for work more often than those in any other major European city. This is despite a quarter setting off half an hour early each day in an attempt to guard against this. The majority of the city’s commuters also rated their daily travel as being more stressful than moving house.
The research, carried out by Ford, involved residents of London, Rome, Paris, Madrid and Berlin being questioned about their commute, reports The Independent. Trips into London were found to be the most unpredictable with 80 per cent of people arriving late for work at least once a month and 47 per cent late two or three times a month.
It seems this happens despite a quarter of Londoners attempting to guard against it by leaving half an hour early – wasting around five days of spare time a year in the process. However, while 93 per cent of people allow extra time for their commute because of frequent hold-ups, those who walked or cycled were found to waste less time each week.
The survey also found that London was the second toughest place to travel through. Commuters rated their daily travel more stressful than planning a holiday, being at work, moving house, dealing with money matters, or going to the dentist. However, almost 60 per cent of workers in Rome also felt that their trips were worse than a relationship breakdown.
Ford Europe’s sustainability, environment and safety engineering vice president, Andreas Ostendorf, said:
“For many people it can feel like they have done a full day before they have even set foot in the office.
“Society is becoming increasingly urban with cities growing in size and number, and we need a transport infrastructure that can keep pace with that expansion. Protecting the freedom of mobility requires more than just new train routes and roads. We all have to work together on a network of interconnected and sustainable solutions.”
A recently-completed 10-year study carried out by the University of East Anglia’s Norwich Medical School and the Centre for Health Economics at the University of York found that cycling or walking to work makes people less stressed and more productive.
A total of 18,000 commuters across the UK were questioned of whom 73 per cent travelled to work by car, 13 per cent on foot, 11 per cent by public transport and three per cent by bike. People commuting by public transport were also found to be happier than those travelling by car, while a small group of people who had switched from commuting by car or public transport to more active modes of transport were also found to be happier following their switch.