The 15 top things other public transport users do that annoy us revealed

What annoys you about public transport?

Time for a rant. Not had one for ages.

The other day I had the misfortune of travelling on the tube. Used to do it for work several years ago and was very glad when I changed jobs and was able to use the car! Nobody likes the tube but sometimes I am amazed at some people’s attitudes. This particular evening the tube was, as usual packed. There was a heavily pregnant woman standing next to me and no one got up for her. It was possible that that people couldn’t see, so I shouted at “could someone please get up for this woman? No one did, I kid he not. So, I said again “I have to say it again? Will someone please get up for this woman?” A man the other end who couldn’t possibly have seen why did. The woman who was exhausted she could only smile to me sat down. Meanwhile a woman, sat next to her friend who was sitting in the “get up and give this seat to someone who needs it more seat” said “I didn’t realise we had a teacher on board” Really? Really? You want to bring attention to the fact that you were too selfish to get up? So I said to her “No, actually I am not a teacher just someone with manners. ” To which, unbelievably her friend sat in the seat from which she should have been the first to get up said “It isn’t that, it’s that people can’t see” Really? Really?

“That’s why I shouted it out across the carriage” I said, bad enough you might think. But this woman was sat next to the glass partition thing which the pregnant woman was standing by! Talk about bringing attention to the fact that you are stupid as well as rude. I couldn’t believe it, arguing about not getting up for someone heavily pregnant. When the pregnant woman left she was able to speak (that’s how out of breath she was when she got on) she thanked me and said no one ever get up for her. Well if that’s you on the tube and you see someone frail or pregnant or disabled who needs your seat more than you do GET UP! Especially if you are in that designated seat! Or enlighten me, why don’t you get up for someone who clearly needs the seat more than you. (If you yourself are in more need of the seat then fair enough but if you aren’t I’d love to hear your reasoning!)

So here’s a list of what people find annoying please free to add yours! The biggest gripe was without doubt number one!

  1. People shouting into their mobile phones
  2. People putting their bags on the empty seat next to them
  3. People who don’t give up their seat for someone pregnant or less able to stand
  4. Eating smelly stuff
  5. Being able to hear noise from people’s headphones
  6. People who need to use some deodorant!
  7. Noise in the quiet coach
  8. Blocking the feet of the person opposite
  9. Bags under tables on trains
  10. People who let their children run amok
  11. People putting feet up on another seat
  12. Eating loudly
  13. Litterers
  14. people doing make up
  15. Trimming nails

Incidentally, if you have any complaints about delays on trains and buses see here and here.

What other horrendous stories of rudeness and things you hate about other passengers on the tube do you have?



How to complain about buses

Complaining effectively about buses



The Consumer Rights Act 2015 was applied to all travel from 1st October 2016. You are now entitled to services carried out with reasonable skill and care. If they are not then you should be able to gain redress.


When you complain, ensure you give as much detail as you can, times, dates, registration number of the bus, route number etc. Send copies of receipts/tickets etc. If the company insist that you send the original retain a copy.

How to complain about London buses

Transport for London and bus companies do not have a standard compensation policy for compensation for bus delays and won’t compensate for delays out of its control such as weather and traffic jams.

If you have any complaint about buses/bus drivers in London contact Transport for London. If you are dissatisfied with the response contact TravelWatch detailing why you remain unhappy. If you remain dissatisfied contact the Local Government Ombudsman.

How to complain about non London buses

Outside of London complain directly to the bus company. If not happy with the response you can contact the Bus Appeals Body. You can also contact the Traffic Commissioner for the area in which the company is based. (There are 7 Traffic Commissioners who are appointed by the Secretary of State for Transport. Their responsibility includes responsibility for the licensing of the operators of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and of buses and coaches (public service vehicles or PSVs) and the registration of local bus services.)

The Traffic Commissioner for Scotland deals with both appeals against decisions by Scottish local authorities on taxi fares, with appeals against charging and removing improperly parked vehicles in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Other useful information regarding buses

Bus companies must adhere to regulations laid by the Traffic Commissioner and the 3 rules of the CPC  (Certificate of Professional Competence) holder’s licence, these are:
1. Professional Conduct
2. Good Repute
3. Financial Standing (for alternative transport arrangements)

If companies fail in any of the above you can write to the Commissioner or if you feel that a bus/coach/limo is unsafe they can write to VOSA or any of the bodies named above.

Under The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (for public transport) you can ask for a certified copy of the vehicle MOT, COiF, (Certificate of Initial Fitness), Insurance documentation, the Driver Daily Check sheet with name redacted and public liability certificate. You may not get this but adds strength to your case.

Example of a complaint about buses

A colleague had problems with Stagecoach which operates the buses in Cambridge. One late evening Ed’s bus was prevented from following his route because a car had been abandoned on the busway.

The driver did not contact the office and nothing was done to help the passengers. So I wrote an email to the CEO outlining the issue and saying that he had had to pay £20 for the taxi fare. The CEO said that they had staff on site at all times while vehicles are out, in case of emergencies and breakdowns. He said they have a 24hour contact number for drivers who for some reason cannot contact the depot which would then in turn contact the next level of management.

He reimbursed the £20 taxi fare. (The financial standing mentioned above). I wanted Ed to email again and point out that as the driver did try to ring the office and got no answer it would appear that their “Tried and tested” processes have not been tested well enough but he didn’t!

Further help with complaining effectively

book Logo cartoon cow at a laptop of book cover. How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!

For more help, advice, laws, guidance, stories and templates get the book. How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!




101 Habits of an Effective complainer book cover with logo


Want to get better at complaining? See 101 Habits of an Effective Complainer





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Save yourself time and effort finding the laws and wording a letter of complaint and download a template, fill in your details and get that redress

Purchase downloadable templates to gain redress

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