Page last updated at 00:46 GMT, Thursday, 11 December 2008

Late workers 'fib' and blame Tube

Tube train
The long wait for a Tube train is a convenient excuse

Commuters are blaming a "late Tube" for failing to get into work on time, according to a survey by Transport for London (TfL).

Passengers were asked about the excuses they give to work when they find themselves running late.

The study found half of those who were late lied about the reasons why, with delayed Tube trains and heavy traffic as the most common excuses.

TfL's survey is meant to promote its range of travel alert updates.

The independent survey of 1,000 commuters found that 65% of respondents admitted that the real reason they were late was usually their own fault.

Snooze button

One in five Londoners admitted using the 'Tube was late' as their excuse, while only 5% said poor service on the Underground was the real reason they were delayed.

When asked for the real reasons, the survey found that Londoners love a lie-in, with one in seven admitting that the snooze button was the real culprit.

TfL is promoting its range of Travel Tools to help people avoid transport delays. They include a text messaging service, mid-week e-mails of planned engineering works and email service update boards similar to those found on station platforms.

London First, the umbrella group representing business interest in the city, said it welcomes measures to keep commuters informed.

It added that TfL needs to keep disruptions to a minimum as it begins the next phase of a multi-year Tube improvement plan.

"The Tube was late" needs to be taken with a pinch of salt - a bit like "the next train will be in three minutes", a spokesman said.

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