Commuting in London is more stressful than work or visiting the dentist

Why is commuting becoming increasingly stressful?

A huge study of European commuters has verified what many of us have known all along; that commuting is an abominable bookend to each working day.

But just how stressful is it? According to a poll of over 5,500 people, those in Rome and London (the worst afflicted cities) find commuting more stressful than visiting the dentist or moving house.

Across Europe, more people (26%) find commuting stressful than the number who find work stressful (23%).

The survey, carried out by car manufacturer Ford, also showed that stress associated with commuting was on the rise.

Researchers said: “Across Europe, commuters in Rome were the most likely to say commuting was increasingly stressful (57%), followed by those in London (41%), and Paris (35%). The survey also showed that 49% of those who use three or more forms of transport currently find commuting increasingly stressful, and 38% find commuting increasingly unpredictable.”

Young people are the most stressed commuters, with a staggering 90% of those aged 16-24 saying that commuting was stressful, compared to 81% of the population as a whole.

Wasting five days a year

The study shows that almost everyone surveyed said they set off for work early. “The 30+ minutes that 15% of commuters add to their journey each day equates to almost five full days over the course of a year,” the study says.

In London, 80% said they were late for work “at least once a month”, with 49% reporting that they had failed to get to work at all on at least one occasion during the last year.

Ford Europe’s sustainability, environment & 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.”

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Readers' comments (2)

  • I have commuted by bike daily for around 30 years and the 7 miles takes me around 30 minutes, and gives me a buzz every time still (even in rain and snow believe it or not, though occasionally that's a pain). Recently, recuperating from a minor op, I've had to temporarily use public transport (which I thought, as its free now I've turned 60, might as well give it a go.) First couple of days I thought, this is not too bad really, what's all the fuss about? But that was about all I could take. My mood definitely changed, noticeably endorphins diminished. but mainly that my 30 minute journey was averaging between 60-100 mins. A walk to the DLR Cutty Sark Gardens (which is enviable to those outside London who have maybe one train an hour! with its services every couple of minutes), then network south east national rail from Lewisham- grossly overcrowded and rarely on time, followed by a bus from Chislehurst station to the village centre- not connecting at all with the rail and regularly having 20-30 minutes wait, followed by sitting in car traffic for over half the journey of only a mile or two. Chislehurst has two stations, both away from the village itself. One has no direct bus route at all, necessitating changing, whilst the other a poor single decker single service infrequent which is further delayed by having no bus lanes to avoid the horrendous car traffic queues. finally a 5 minute walk to home- exhausted!
    But what solution? I feel we need to reduce car traffic-significantly, improve cycling facilities and bus lanes, remove diesel buses, improve bus frequency at some locations, but most of all-remove this huge volume of unnecessary car traffic and invest 'heavily' in rail. Educating people about the benefits of cycling is commendable, but you have to make if safer first. I've been lucky so far (touching wood), but it still scares me when i experience near misses from careless vehicles. I'd like to have felt confident enough to allow my children to travel to school by bike, but i feared for their safety on our roads, so they went by bus-almost NEVER, unless essential, did we drive them! It will take ALL of us to change our behaviour to make a difference, and to vote for those who can bring us real change- not just more road traffic by building more roads and more tunnels as proposed at Silvertown. We need a radical rethink and politicians with enough guts to deliver it.

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  • Anonymous

    Motorcycles are safer than pushbikes.

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