How many hours do you waste on the Tube? Millions every month...

Catherine Neilan
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Tube chaos: Does this feel like a familiar sight? (Source: Getty).
Has it ever felt like you are wasting your life away on public transport? Turns out that feeling might not be too far from the mark.
Official figures show that Londoners lost a total of 7.1m hours on the Tube in the second quarter of this year – that's 47 per cent up on the previous three months, and there are some worrying spikes that might resonate.
Do you, for example, recall spending more time than usual on the Underground in May? That was the last major spike according to the data, when the total number of hours wasted by Tube commuters reached 4.4m, and the average journey for the 28-day-period took 5.62 minutes more than it was supposed to.
The 28 days ending March 1, however, saw an even greater amount of time accumulated not wandering free – just under 5m hours. That added an average 6.73 minutes to each journey.
Unsurprisingly this all tallies with the percentage of journeys that operated as scheduled.
So when is the most time-effective month to travel? Looking at the data, which goes back to May 2011, it seems that Augusts and Septembers are generally good with drops both in 2012 and 2013, no doubt timed with the summer holidays, though with this autumn's various strikes and general travel chaos that may not hold true for 2014.
And February-to-March is probably best avoided if possible.
Either that or take a really good book.
This first chart shows how much longer your average journey was each month.
The below chart shows the total number of "lost" hours accumulated on the Tube, over and above the time a journey should take. Periods run to the date that appears, and vary from 26 to 30 days.

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