Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Happy Commute; WORKBrand New Circle Line Trains, Expanding Your Mind and a Chance to Find a Little Solace - Susannah Butter Finds Joy in the Journey to Work

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Happy Commute; WORKBrand New Circle Line Trains, Expanding Your Mind and a Chance to Find a Little Solace - Susannah Butter Finds Joy in the Journey to Work

Article excerpt

Byline: Susannah Butter

IF LIFE is a journey not a destination, the latest news from the Office for National Statistics seems unfortunate. It has found that our daily trip from home to office induces misery. Commuters who spend between an hour and 90 minutes travelling each morning suffer most, becoming less happy and more anxious.

But these studies only tell a partial truth. Commuting need not be grim. This unavoidable reality of London life can be something you'll look forward to. Here are 10 reasons we love the ride.

CIRCLE OF LOVE It happened last September. Instead of the usual rammed, stinky Circle line train, a vision of the future drew up -- in every way bigger, better and more beautiful.

The new S7 stock is a lovely bit of design and engineering. There's so much more space. You seem to have a much better chance of getting a seat on one of these but it doesn't matter if you don't -- it's so pleasing, so much less crushy to stand in than the old cars. Because the cars are one long space, you can move around the whole train easily and feel less claustrophobic. The really great innovation won't come in until summer: the S7 is the first London Tube train ever to be air-conditioned. Yes! I've lived to see it: being on the Tube without getting sweaty. So when one of these babies rolls up to the platform, you feel lucky -- it's a cheering little treat every time.

David Sexton THE KNOWLEDGE Weirdly, the morning commute coincides with the moment I feel sharpest; it also offers the longest period of unpunctured solitude of the day. If you get a seat, it can be incredibly productive. I do my best writing on the Tube. I've learned conversational Italian on the 106 bus. And it's also when I get the most sustained reading done, free from phone bleeps and intrusive colleagues. The longer and less broken the journey the better.

Richard Godwin PEOPLE-WATCHING All human life (and the occasional pigeon) is underground. There was the man who breakdanced around his suitcase on the Central line, the chap who solved a Rubik's Cube between Green Park and Victoria, and the guy who boarded a train with a cake -- only Continued from Page 37 to share it around the carriage. And then there's the potential for spotting the famous and beautiful. Ladies: Tom Hiddleston, heir apparent to Benedict Cumberbatch, has been seen on the Tube...

Rosamund Urwin IT'S A MARATHON Marathon training is hard to fit in. However, running to work means you swap the fetid clamminess of the Victoria line for the February wind chill of the concrete jungle. Plug in a playlist and get pacing: you'll rediscover your love of London.

Phoebe Luckhurst LET THERE BE LIGHT It has long been my winter ritual: checking sunrise times in the cold months to see when it will finally be light as I leave the house. …

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