Commuter Bug-Bears

April 20, 2017

Commuters from across the UK have confessed their up-most frustrations on the way to and from work each day, whether dealing with dawdlers or braving other people’s body odour. A study of 2000, conducted by SPANA; a working animal charity, found that two-thirds of commuters dislike their journey to work. The average person feels completely fed up just 13 minutes into their journey and almost a third say their commute is the worst part of their working day. A fifth of those polled said a bad journey leads them to feel irritable for the rest of the day, with a third saying they would actually be willing to take a pay cut if it meant they could simply work from home.

Worst part of working day is commute Image: SWNS:South West News Service

You’d think those using public transport everyday would have the most to complain about but drivers have it just as bad. The top 4 bear bugs include:

1: Being stuck in traffic for hours on end
2: De-icing the car
3: Reckless and last-minute lane changers causing potential accidents (including motorbikes and cyclists darting through)
4: Traffic lights which seem to serve no purpose.

Traffic Jam

For motorists who are running late, the main irritants are: having to de-ice the car on a frosty morning, what’s worse is not being able to find a parking space once reaching your destination.

However, the panic of running out of petrol when the bar drops on the meter and you’re stuck in miles of traffic with no petrol station in sight is also another annoyance; constantly thinking “please let me make time!” (Who hasn’t worried about making it to the petrol station in time?)

Will I make it?

Drivers also get aggravated with motorists who tailgate, bin collectors blocking the road creating a queue and making everyone wait until they’ve emptied all the bins on the street.

Unsurprisingly offenses to the nose and ears were common in the list, especially to those who commute on public transport.

The study shows that, public transport commuters often get irritated standing under the arm of a fellow commuter holding the handrail on a hot day, people who push in when queuing to get on the train, especially the tube or bus, and the phone reception cutting out every five minutes on the train.

Public Transport Body Odour

Amidst the most bothersome commuting distresses were strong smelling foods and bad body odour while others confessed that noisy children, ‘terrible music’ and bad language on public transport were also among commuters’ biggest bugbears.

Other annoyances on the bus or train include people who stand in the doorways rather than moving down the carriage, people sniffing loudly and blowing their noses and those having unbearable loud conversations.

Blocking Door Way On Public Transport

Researchers found the average person feels irritated for at least 20% of their overall commute and for 36% their patience levels are even lower on the way home from work.

Geoffrey Dennis, Chief Executive of SPANA, said: “When taking the same journey to and from work every single day, it’s understandable that these persistent irritations can seem like a big deal. During your commute, the last thing you want is to suffer delays or have to put up with inconsiderate behaviour. However, these annoyances aren’t the end of the world, particularly when compared to some of the problems endured by people and animals in developing countries – and the journeys they have to face.

“Every day, many working animals overseas have to walk miles, carrying back-breaking loads in difficult terrain and in temperatures exceeding 40˚C. During such journeys, these animals often have little shelter, water or rest, while they are at risk of being hit by cars and buses.”

Check out our Top 50 bug-bears!