Popular commuting pastimes in the UK

Liv Butler
Authored by Liv Butler
Posted: Monday, January 29, 2024 - 16:56

2023 Statista figures show that one-third of UK workers spend between 30 minutes and two hours on their daily commute. That’s a lot of potentially educational and productive time going to waste. But some commuters are already using that time wisely, so why don’t you? Here are fun, productive things you could be doing on your daily journey.

Mobile slots

Of course, not everything has to be a learning process. Playing mobile or online slots is a good way of unwinding on the way home or taking your mind off an awkward work meeting on the way in. There are hundreds of different games to keep you entertained on your tablet or smartphone. It’s simple to register and they pay out swiftly, so you could have the cost of your lunchtime tuna mayo baguette covered before you even arrive at work!

Social media

Browsing social media is one of the most common pastimes for those who use public transport. A 2019 survey by ethical car recycling company Scrap Car Network revealed that 16% of those who travel by train, tram or bus use a variety of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to pass the time. It’s a low-maintenance way of catching up with friends and staying informed - as long as you have a signal! Reassuringly, hundreds of thousands of daily London Tube commuters can now expect even better wi-fi coverage instead of entering a comms black hole when they go underground. Uninterrupted 4G and 5G mobile coverage is being rolled out to underground station ticket halls, platforms and tunnels on the Tube. Around 80% of Tube stations will be connected by the end of 2024.


For those who ride public transport, reading a book is always popular. And you can slip a Kindle into your handbag or rucksack if you haven’t got space for a doorstop novel. Perfect commuting books allow you to finish a chapter or two, preferably ending on a cliffhanger, rather than novels that leave you stranded amidst a paragraph of dense prose when pulling into Manchester Piccadilly. If you like the classics, Charles Dickens often used a cliffhanger technique in his stories as many were originally written for magazine periodicals.


Listening to a podcast is the most convenient, 21st-century way of educating or entertaining yourself on your commute. You can listen to podcasts on pretty much any form of transport – walking, buses, trains, driving etc. Podcast characteristics of portability and adaptability make them the perfect tool for learning on the go. Whether you want to hold your own in water cooler chats about current affairs, manage your finances, improve your mental health, or learn about philosophy, there’s a podcast for you out there!

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