London crawling

April 27, 2015


Can getting to work really be more stressful than actually being at work?

For those who travel into London every day, the answer is an emphatic yes. We commissioned a new survey that shows that commuting is also more stressful than dealing with money matters, moving house, and even a trip to the dentist.

For commuters trying to negotiate London’s busy streets, slow underground, and crowded trains, the pace can be frustratingly slow.

Our survey shows that 94 per cent of London commuters set off early – 25 per cent by 30 minutes or more. Over the course of a year that’s around five days of personal time sacrificed.

80 per cent are late every month due to hold-ups – and 49 per cent have abandoned trips to work in the past year.

No surprise then that London commuters also said they find journeys increasingly stressful (41 per cent), and increasingly unpredictable (37 per cent).

So how does this compare to other cities in Europe? We actually surveyed more than 5,500 people altogether, in Berlin, Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, and Rome, as well as London – and found more people were late for work in London in a typical month than anyone else.

However, it could be worse. In Rome, 57 per cent of commuters find their trip to work increasingly stressful. In fact, the daily slog is so bad there that the trip to work outranked a relationship breakdown as a source of stress.

Overall, those most likely to be stressed, leave for work early, and arrive late are commuters who use multiple transport solutions, mainly use trains and buses, or are aged 18-34.

So we’re all doomed to trudge into work later and later and increasingly fail to make it in at all? Hopefully not…

We presented at the Sustainable Brands Barcelona conference the Ford Smart Mobility plan that is using innovation to address mobility issues and change the way the world moves. In London, mobility experiments  are already underway for car-sharing, parking, insurance and a shuttle service.

There’s also Handle on Mobility, an experiment which combines electric bicycles with cars and public transport to deliver faster and easier daily commutes.

“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.

* Survey conducted for Ford Motor Company by Opinion Matters April 2015.