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Monday, April 10, 2006

Mind the Smell

Ken's smelly armpit and reading over someone's shoulderBody odours and farts are most hated commuter habits

Yet another survey on commuter habits has "revealed" our pet hates when travelling on public transport. According to Mobizines™, the "top five most hated behaviours are - bad body odour or breaking wind, loud telephone conversations, loud music, getting angry and kissing."

The press release continues "Rather than complaining about late-running trains, one in three commuters (33%) cited catching a whiff of body odour or someone breaking wind as their pet hate when travelling to work. In fact, music from personal music players (16%), loud telephone conversations (26%) and public displays of affection (5%) were cited as being among the habits that fuel commuter rage rather than service disruptions."

As the man behind Mobizine™, Scott Beaumont, says "Jean-Paul Sartre famously wrote that 'hell is other people' and our research proves him right. With passenger numbers set to increase by 30% over the next 20 years and no plans by the government to increase capacity, commuter patience is set to be tested to the breaking point."

The research seems to show that rather than us being more annoyed about the delays and poor service we're more worried about fellow commuters. Only 15% of people said that they got stressed out by overcrowding, accidents and delays to public transport.

However, it looks like we just grin and bear bad habits, as only 3% admit to asking people to stop their irritating behaviour. But if the annoying behaviour is just being smelly, farting, and snogging, I spose it's hardly stuff that we can say "Please stop" to.

Sadly for Mobizine™ - reading over people's shoulders didn't seem to come out as highly as an annoyance with commuting as they probably hoped. The company could only make the following comment to help promote their mobile magazine downloading tool "Having something interesting to read while travelling helps take our minds of crowded conditions and people's antisocial habits. Unfortunately public transport is often so full, you can't even read a book, let alone a paper. With
Mobizines™, it's the first time commuters can download 'snack sized' versions of their favourite magazines in a rich, colourful format to their mobiles, perfect to read even in crowded spaces."

Get some smaller headphonesI wouldn't say that smelly people on the Tube is my biggest worry, but with air conditioning on the London Underground supposedly being impossible and with experiments like Madeleine to pump out calming perfume, not making it past trials at Euston, Piccadilly and St James's Park, it looks as though we will have to put up with more "people odour" this summer.

However, being able to hear the music from people's iPods and the like is definitely a pet hate from mine, and I've often wondered what it does for the hearing of the "offender". The problem is they wouldn't be able to hear even hear you say "Turn down your music mate"!

So do you agree with the survey, would farts, BO, loud music and snogging be amongst your personal peeves? Or do you have other pet commuting hates?


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