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Train travellers in Cardiff peeved by pongy passengers

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New research from a leading train company has found that mobile phones are the number one source of rail-rage for people in Cardiff, but passengers would need to be overwhelmed by passengers' smelly odours before acting on their annoyance.

The survey, conducted by train company CrossCountry, found that more than half of people in Cardiff (54%) are most aggravated by passengers talking loudly on their mobile phones, yet just a third (36%) would pluck up the courage to move away from noisy carriage-mates.  

But poor hygiene is enough to tip the balance, with over two thirds (66%) of people from Cardiff opting to move seats if the person sitting next to them smelt of cigarettes or strong body odour.

Passengers leaving their rubbish behind also rated highly on the bad habits barometer, with 41% of travellers listing litter bugs as their top gripe. The results also showed that more than two thirds (62%) would be forced out of their seat if someone was kicking the back of their chair.

Tolerance levels are also tested when it comes to amorous behaviour - 37% of people in Cardiff would move seats if the couple sitting next to them were getting frisky, making them more prudent than other parts of the UK (32%).

Bucking a national trend, just a third (33%) were frustrated when able to hear the music of another passenger's headphones. In this regard, those from Cardiff were the most tolerant.

The most positive outcomes of the survey were the compassionate nature of passengers. People from Cardiff ranked above the UK average in almost every category of compassion - with the majority willing to give up their seats for a disabled person (73%), an elderly person (71%), a pregnant lady (68%) or a passenger who has fallen ill (61%). Two thirds (64%) are also kind enough to offer cash to a fellow passenger who was short of a few pence to buy a drink or snack on board.

With an estimated 1.5 billion journeys made by rail every year* it's not surprising that people will encounter another passengers annoying habits, however the survey found that passenger behaviour varies around the county.

Commenting on the findings, David Burton, Senior Conductor from CrossCountry who has been working on the railway for seven years said "It's not surprising to see that the most common gripes amongst passengers are music blaring through headphones and people talking loudly on their mobiles; quite often passengers miss the announcements as they board the train because they are chatting away on the phone. Although I very rarely have a passenger complain to me about other people on board, I did once have to ask an older gentleman to tone down his singing on the train - the other passengers were giggling instead of getting grouchy though, and he was very polite when he realised how loud he was."

CrossCountry run to 121 stations - covering more of Britain than any other train operator - and have a quiet coach for those that wish for that extra peace and quiet!  


Notes to editors

OnePoll interviewed a random sample of 2,000 adults aged 18+ from through its online panel between 24 and 31 January 2013. The survey findings are nationally representative and further information is available at  

*Taken from the Office of Rail Regulation, 2011-12:

CrossCountry started operating on 11 November 2007. The franchise, which is the most extensive in the UK, will run until 31 March 2016. For further information on CrossCountry services and future franchise plans log on to

CrossCountry is part of the Arriva group, which is owned by Deutsche Bahn. Arriva is a leading pan-European public transport operators with more than 42,000 employees and operations across 12 European countries. The link to Arriva is The link to Deutsche Bahn is

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CrossCountry bookings - passengers can book any rail journey, with any train operator for anywhere in Britain with no booking fee through CrossCountry's website, mobile site and free Train Tickets app. Visit your app store to download the CrossCountry Train Tickets app.

CrossCountry facts and figures

PASSENGERS CARRIED: Over 30 million passenger journeys a year anticipated
ANNUAL TRAIN MILEAGE: Approximately 16 million
EMPLOYEES: Approximately 1,600
LONGEST TRAIN SERVICE: 08.20 Aberdeen to Penzance (774 miles)

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