Londoners content to put with the stresses and trains of commuting

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The Independent Online

Londoners may endure the longest journeys to work, and in the most trying of conditions, but they remain among the most contented commuters in Europe, a survey published yesterday suggests.

Londoners may endure the longest journeys to work, and in the most trying of conditions, but they remain among the most contented commuters in Europe, a survey published yesterday suggests.

The long-suffering capital worker faces on average a 51- minute journey to get to the office. This compares with 36 minutes in Frankfurt and 33 in Barcelona.

A total of 56 per cent of Londoners – the highest figure in Europe – cite the poor reliability of public transport as the aspect of their journey they most dislike.

Sixty-seven per cent of commuters find their trip to and from work unpleasant, but 4 per cent find it pleasant, according to the survey by the property consultants, Cushman & Wakefield Healey & Baker. Yet Londoners nevertheless emerge as among the most stoical Europeans, finding that the quality of their free time offsets the drudgery of their daily grind.

More than half of them – a greater proportion than in any other European city polled – like the place where they live for the extra-curricular amenities on offer.

The report concluded that Londoners had a "work hard, play hard" mentality, a theory borne out by the fact that fewer Londoners disliked the "stressful lifestyle" than the inhabitants of any other city in the survey.

London also belied its reputation as a dangerous place to live, with respondents considering it safer than residents of the other cities also visited by the survey – Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Milan, Barcelona, Paris, Madrid and Brussels.

Of the 100 people interviewed in each city, 76 per cent of Londoners were either "very happy" or "fairly happy" about working in the city.

A spokesman for the Department of Transport said: "Commuting times are influenced by distance travelled. London is one of Europe's largest cities, so it is natural that people travel from a wide area into the city, which affects the average travelling time. Paris, a city of similar size, has a similar travelling time."

Angie Bray, Conservative transport spokesman on the Greater London Assembly, was less generous. She said: "This survey will come as no surprise to Londoners – we have known for years that our transport system is appalling."

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