Germaphobe Living in London? Ditch the Tube and Get the Bus

By Tom Pritchard on at

There are lots of hazards to your health in a big city, particularly one as busy (and polluted) as London. If you live there, or are planning on visiting, you might wonder which way round the city if the cleanest. Well I have some advice that should be fairly obvious, ditch the tube.

In a study commissioned by Staveley Head, researchers from London Metropolitan University tested buses and trains inside London, and you'll never believe what they found. The answers will shock you! Or not, because it turns out that the London Underground is a pretty filthy place - which shouldn't actually be a surprise to anyone who's been on it.

A total of 95 different kinds of bacteria were found living on the tube. The Victoria Line is worst, with researchers finding 22 different types of bacteria, including Ecoli, Staphylococcus Aureus, and the Klebsiella Pneumoniae superbug. Even more worrying is the fact that researchers also uncovered nine of the 12 drug-resistant bacteria that pose the greatest threat to human health according to the World Health Organisation.

Buses, on the other hands, were quite a bit cleaner, with the researchers finding 37 different varieties of bacteria.

Most people don't really need to be worried. The researchers and public health officials have confirmed that people can avoid infection if they maintain a good level of personal hygiene, and you don't need to do anything special just because you got into a slightly mucky carriage on the tube.

TfL also said that buses, tube trains, and even taxis are cleaned on a daily basis, so really there's nothing to worry about. But if you're a major germaphobe, you know how to try and avoid coming into contact with those microbial freeloaders. [Staveley Head via London Evening Standard]