One third also said they felt they did not know their neighbours, reports the BBC.

Research company Populus interviewed 1,000 adults in London for the poll, twenty-seven per cent of who said that they felt lonely often or all of the time. And 28% said there was little or no sense of community in their area of London, rising to 33% of those aged 65 or over.

Bernhard Luther, 72, from Archway, north London, said he found the city a friendlier place 20 years ago. “My friends are mainly dead or moved away so in this area it is now mainly young folk and they have their own way so it’s quite different.”

He added: “There was a nice community where I live but people move out. If you came as a stranger in a pub, automatically you would start talking but not any more. It’s all too isolated.

Thirty-three per cent of respondents to BBC London’s poll said they did not know their neighbours well. Those in inner London were more likely than those in outer London to say this, 38% compared with 29%.

Marjorie Wallace, of mental health charity Sane, said it was “not a big step to go from feeling persistently lonely to having clinical depression”.

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