Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

London Commuting the Worst in Europe

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

London Commuting the Worst in Europe

Article excerpt

Byline: MARK BENHAM

COMMUTING in London is worse than anywhere else in Europe, according to a major new survey Daily disruption and ageing infrastructure mean the average journey in the capital takes 51 minutes - longer than in any other major European city and contrasting with 33 minutes in Barcelona and 36 minutes in Frankfurt.

When passengers finally alight from their crowded carriages and arrive at work, they also have to put up with the worst-rated office space in Europe.

Poor lighting, cramped space and inadequate equipment and furniture were top complaints.

Despite such drawbacks, however, the capital's office workers were the least stressed of the eight European cities surveyed. Only 18 per cent said they found working in London stressful.

London's "play hard, work hard" culture offers high salaries, good career opportunities and lively after-work socialising that compensate for the trials of commuting.

The survey for property consultant Cushman & Wakefield Healey & Baker compared attitudes of more than 800 office workers in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, Frankfurt, Madrid, Milan, Paris and London.

The firm's chairman, Colin Hargreaves, said the research underlined the reality that Londoners have "little choice but to put up with the city's public transport and office space". He said: "They face a miserable journey to and from work, and they spend their day in poor offices with little natural light, poor views and limited space."

Jo Valentine, chief operating officer of inward investment specialists London First, said: "This survey underlines more clearly than anything before the absolute necessity of urgent investment in London's transport system.

"The Government and the Mayor must work to resolve the Tube investment issue quickly and stop prevaricating."

Only Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris have comparable commuting problems to London, with average journey times of 47, 44 and 42 minutes respectively. …

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