If you thought the most annoying thing about using public transport was that loudmouth oink holding a ridiculously loud mobile phone conversation or swiping madly away at an iPhone, then you were wrong. It's only the second most annoying thing about commuting, at least as UK travellers are concerned according to new research from Popcap.

Volcanic ash is mighty annoying when it interrupts your travel plans, but despite what it feels like right now it is a pretty rare event. Unlike people who smell. Interestingly, it seems that women find stinky folk more offensive than men (probably as most of the stinkers are men if my own experiences of sweaty commuters are anything to go by) and the Scots are more bothered by it than the English, Northern Irish or Welsh. Perhaps it's best not to go down the route of another survey, from those good folk at Microsoft, which looked at mobile phone usage on the toilet, under the circumstances.

As far as the mobile phone usage goes, commuters in Leeds and Newcastle proved to be the loudest with 25 percent admitting to calling people during their travel to work. Nearly half of those surveyed admitted that they listen to other people's mobile phone conversations, although to be fair I'm surprised it is as low given that you can often do nothing else considering how people yell into the things. That said, more than half also admitted to reading newspapers, text messages, books and confidential work documents over other passengers’ shoulders.

While many commuters are content to chat on the phone, only 7 percent are willing to chat to fellow commuters.

About the Author

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.