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Commuters convinced public transport is making them ill

Mind the bug: Three in ten passengers fear picking up infection on the Tube PICTURE: SWNS

GERMS on handrails and seats, a lack of fresh air and packed carriages make public transport a breeding ground for catching viruses, commuters believe.

Two-thirds of people who travel to work on public transport think it is a major cause of maladies, a poll shows.

Of the four in five commuters who had a winter illness last year, more than a third believe it is ‘very likely’ they caught it in while transit.

Three in ten fear using London’s Tube is likely to make them ill and more than half think the same about buses.

The poll of 2,000 people also suggests 41 per cent of commuters have been coughed on during their daily journey.

More than a quarter are ‘disgusted’ by the sniffling and spluttering of fellow travellers, while one in five are left feeling ‘worried’ and ‘anxious’. The most annoying experience is a passenger not covering their mouth when they cough, the survey shows.

While sitting next to someone who is ill, 40 per cent have washed their hands with sanitizer to try to nullify the germs and 37 per cent have moved seats or turned away from the person.

Nearly three-quarters of commuters admit they don’t avoid public transport when they are ill, the poll carried out for menthol sweet maker Jakemans found. But a quarter are left feeling guilty as a result.

Elizabeth Hughes-Gapper, of Jakemans, said: ‘There are ways to minimise cold contamination in busy spaces, but for many commuters getting ill is simply unavoidable.’