London’s commuters are mixing business and pleasure more than ever as workers return to the capital in droves, says research from Metro and its partners
The fifth instalment of “The inside track” led by Metro, Transport for London and Global showed the number of commuters returning to the capital is rising at a pace. In September, the Underground saw four million unique passengers a week and one million passengers a day. By Sunday 3 October, the day of the London Marathon, the Tube hit 80% of normal demand.
Rising transport use is coupled with ever growing consumer confidence, with people more confident to travel on the Tube, make plans and book breaks and events away.
Importantly for advertisers and publishers, that includes Christmas, with people making medium-term plans and saying they were planning to go out more this December.
Once they reach the city, 95% of those asked going to work last week said they combine the office with socialising, making the most of being out and about with options to meet people. More than two million people left and entered the Tube network between 8pm and 12 midnight since the start of September.
This goes hand-in-hand with how commuters are choosing a new work/life balance. Although 8 in 10 are still heading to the office on a weekly basis, Tuesday to Thursday are most likely to be office days.
The commute itself is also proving an important time for workers to take for themselves. Three in five felt that the journeys to and from work were valuable ‘me time’ and two thirds said they loved being in the city.
With commuters finding value in old commuting habits, the opportunities for businesses and advertisers are clear. Later in the seminar, Mail Metro Media’s head of insight Luke Hand reminded viewers about the advantages of print advertising, with print beating social media on ROI and Lumen research showing print ads getting more attention over the pandemic.
He added that the Metro cover wraps behaved like outdoor advertising, with the wraps getting 12 seconds of attention and being “more effective in increasing brand salience than any other creative”.