If there’s one thing worse than a late train or bus, it’s the people you have to share it with. We list the smells, sounds and space invaders that make public transport such a pain.
From late buses to never getting a seat on the train, public transport is bound to raise our stress levels – and once aboard, our fellow passengers don’t help.
A recent survey by price comparison site Jetcost.co.uk has found that screaming babies and incessant chatterboxes are among the least popular travel companions. But what else gets our blood boiling?
We’ve rounded up the 10 most annoying things that happen on public transport.
1. Loud phone calls
It’s 7am. Nobody needs to hear about what you had for dinner last night, the ‘hilarious’ thing your dog did this morning and where you’re going this weekend. Not least at decibels that match the sound of a jumbo jet taking off.
2. Bad hygiene
Hundreds of strangers crammed in one another’s personal space is bad enough – let’s not throw in bad breath and B.O. to make it worse.
3. Putting your feet on seats
This is particularly rage-inducing when there’s nowhere else to sit. Where do you think you are? You aren’t kicking back on a chaise lounge – sit properly.
4. Playing loud music
Nobody asked you to DJ their commute. Especially not to the sounds of some tinny, techno remix that sounds like somebody dropping a xylophone down a flight of stairs.
5. Eating smelly food
Few things in this world smell worse than someone else’s McDonalds combined with that certain mystery must you only find on public transport.
6. Reading over somebody else’s shoulder
Glad you find my half-composed text message or copy of Gone Girl so interesting but please stop before I end up locked in the awkward struggle of wondering whether to turn the page when I’m finished or wait for you to catch up.
7. Carrying enormous bags during rush hour
We know it’s unfair. We know it can’t always be helped. And we know we’ve all been guilty of it at some stage. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s so very, very annoying for half the carriage to be taken out like dominoes every time the passenger carrying a rucksack big enough for a round-the-world trip turns round.
8. Carrying out an entire beauty regime
Women applying makeup on public transport has always been hotly debated, dividing us into Team ‘Just Get Up Earlier’ and Team ‘But I’m Not Hurting Anyone’. But we’re not talking about popping on a touch of lippy or topping up your mascara – we’re talking about applying nail varnish, plucking brows and clipping nails – basically anything you’d normally confine to your bathroom. There’s a time and a place for all of that. And the 296 bus is not it.
9. Public displays of affection
Who wants to spend their hour-long commute playing everybody’s favourite game, Trying Not To Make Eye Contact With The Couple Exploring Eachother’s Tonsils Opposite You?
10. Being a space invader
Next time you’re tempted to sprawl out, taking up three seats and a large proportion of the aisle on a busy bus or train, could you just… not? Thanks.