A new survey by MBNA Thames Clippers to uncover the Capital’s commuting gripes has revealed that one in every eight of the Capital’s dwellers (12.4 per cent) is jealous of Harry Potter’s broomstick as a mode of transport, followed by President Barack Obama’s Air Force One jet (10.6 per cent) and James Bond’s speed boat (8.3 per cent). Beating the traffic and staying above ground – sometimes quite a way above ground – is what Londoners yearn for from their daily commute. 

Londoners’ biggest bugbear is the all too real stereotype of getting crammed into people’s smelly armpits as lack of personal space and smelly people are cited as the top two things Londoners hate most about their commute (16.3 per cent and 7.9 per cent, respectively).

The Capital cited a guaranteed seat on their commute as the number one thing that would make their journeys better (15.8 per cent choosing it). Almost as many again (14.7 per cent) said that the gloves are off and they do all they can to make sure they get a seat to make the journey more bearable. Having fresh air and the addition of working air conditioning in the summer or heating in the winter came a close second and third in the list of things that would make Londoners’ commutes better (15.4 per cent and 13.2 per cent respectively).

The main coping mechanism that commuters use is to block it all out and get lost in a book or newspaper or to put on headphones and listen to music or watch a film or TV show (used by 40.1 per cent of Londoners). Similarly, one in five (20.9 per cent) chooses to simply think happier thoughts such as holiday or weekend plans to counteract the everyday drudgery of commuting.