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Communications: Mobile irritation over phone pests

One in three of us has been annoyed by the mobile menace at some time and only one in 25 says there are no places which should be off limits to mobile phone users.

Trains, buses and cars are amongst the places where people most want mobile phones banned.

Almost a thousand people were questioned for the NOP survey on mobile phones commissioned by Tandy, the high-street electrical retailer, and the reaction to their use in most public places was a thumbs-down. Nearly 40 per cent had been positively annoyed by someone using a mobile on a bus or train. Just over half that number had taken exception to phone users in a restaurant or cafe, and one in four people said they were annoyed by someone taking or making a call in the car.

Men are slightly more likely than women to object to mobile phone use and the most complaints recorded are in the London area, where the most mobile phones are. Sixty-nine per cent of those asked in the survey say there should be a ban on the use of the phones in cars and 42 and 36 per cent for buses and trains respectively. Restaurants are seen as off limits by 40 per cent and a quarter want the phones barred from pubs, too.

Andrew Fryatt, managing director of Tandy, said: "Mobile phones can be a real boon for many people, but they are also a potential source of annoyance."