Commuting is as stressful as moving house, survey of European cities finds

People in Rome say it is worse than a break up

Kashmira Gander
Tuesday 28 April 2015 15:13 BST
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Commuters prepare to travel on the District Line of the London Underground which is running a limited service due to industrial action on April 30, 2014 in London, England. At 9pm on April 28, 2014 members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) Union c
Commuters prepare to travel on the District Line of the London Underground which is running a limited service due to industrial action on April 30, 2014 in London, England. At 9pm on April 28, 2014 members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) Union c (Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

With traffic queues and cramped train carriages to contend with each day, people find commuting to more stressful than moving house or going to the dentist, a new survey of major European cities has revealed.

The poll of over 5,500 commuters from a pool of major European cities has revealed people find Rome to be the toughest place to travel through, followed by London and Paris.

But trips into London were the most unpredictable, with more people late to work in the British capital than in any other surveyed location. As many as 80 per cent of participants in London said they were late to work at least once every month due to delays.

However, when London, Rome, Paris, Madrid and Berlin were considered, only 49 per cent of those navigating the German capital were late in a typical month.

Rome makes for the toughest commute (Image: Getty)

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In order to allow time for navigating London's streets, potential London Underground delays, and busy carriages, a quarter of commuters set off half an hour earlier each day – wasting around five days of spare time a year.

However, those who took control of their journeys by walking or cycling did not lose any time in the long-run by setting off early.

Some 41 per cent of commuters in the UK capital also said they found journeys increasingly stressful, with 37 per cent saying they were increasingly unpredictable.

Of the five cities survey, only those in Rome and London agreed that commuting was more stressful than planning a holiday, being at work, moving house, dealing with money matters, or going to the dentist.

But almost 60 per cent of workers who headed into the Italian capital of Rome complained that their journey were becoming increasingly stressful – to the point that it was worse than a relationship breakdown.

In contrast, those quizzed in Madrid and Paris only agreed that travelling to work was as stressful as planning a holiday.

Those who use multiple transport services, mainly use trains and buses, or are aged 18-34 were most likely to be those who were stressed, left for work early, and arrived late.

“Pedestrian walkways, bicycles, buses, trains, vehicles, trams, shuttle buses – all of these need to be connected and integrated to optimise urban mobility in the future,” said Andreas Ostendorf, president, Sustainability, Environment & Safety Engineering, Ford of Europe.

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