Anti-social commuters: Your tales of bad travel etiquette

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Someone painting their toenails on the trainImage source, Getty Images
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Readers share their toe curling stories of guerrilla groomers on public transport

Returning to work after a blissful Bank Holiday can be tiresome enough without being faced with your fellow commuters' annoying habits. Here are some of our readers' tales of irksome travel etiquette.

The nail clippers

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Simon Johns was once two seats away from a man who decided the London Underground was the perfect place to trim his toenails.

"As we left Euston, the shoes came off, then the socks, then out came the clippers," said the 50-year-old from London.

"Shards of toenail were sent pinging around the carriage - those in the vicinity were fairly appalled, but London being London no-one said a thing."

Elizabeth Morfakis, 23, from Norfolk, was on a bus in London with a friend when "a clipping landed right near us".

"We looked at each other in a confused and mildly disgusted way but didn't say anything," she said.

"The passenger got off at the next stop seemingly without a care in the world, leaving a small gift of clippings scattered around the area they'd been sat in for other lucky passengers to enjoy."

Andrew Randle, 45, from Berkshire was on a Waterloo to Reading train when he heard the "clicking and occasional pinging noises" of another travel trimmer.

"Another passenger noticed him, she was equally perplexed - and the look between us before I left was one of joint incredulity and bemusement," he said.

The talkers

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Jessica Cavanagh, 20, said she hated people who spoke loudly about personal matters on her rail commute between Leicester and Birmingham.

"I don't need to know about what your dog's poo looked like this morning," she said.

Steve White said he confronted a man who spent 45 minutes talking on two mobile phones while facing a quiet sign.

"He was totally indignant and really quite abusive saying I had no right to ask him to shut up and he was not harming anyone," said the 52-year-old from Manchester.

"He did eventually stop making calls but only after a further few minutes. I think he was trying to prove a point. He did. He proved an inability to read and to consider anyone except himself."

The eaters

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David Thornton, 60, from west Somerset, said he was irritated by food aromas, even those from sushi.

"Perhaps one of the most interesting meals was a girl in the seat opposite who, immediately after the train started to move out of the station, decided to open her pre-packed mixed sushi delight and for the next hour or so picked slowly at the decomposing raw fish," he said.

Helen Williams, 26, from Manchester said: "A woman sat next to me, opened a family tray of supermarket cold water prawns and ate the whole packet with her fingers. No shame."

Rob Boyd, 49, from London, said he could not deal with "the chap who eats his muesli out of a Tupperware tub, ritually between Clapham and Vauxhall each morning slurping it really loudly".

"It's gross and he never seems to finish it all," he added.

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The make-uppers

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People doing their make up on the train is a regular source of complaint.

Michael Boyd, 61, said he had been dusted with face powder by nearby make-uppers.

"I have also been sprayed in the face as a lady squirted perfume on to her neck," he said.

"I coughed very loudly... and she scowled at me."

One anonymous woman, who works for a train operator, said she had seen full makeovers on her journeys around the West Midlands.

She watched a woman spend 30 minutes applying make-up.

"[She] proceeded to do a full-on application of foundation, blending away merrily, followed by contouring, lip liner, lip colour, eye shadow, eye liner, eyelashes, then a final flourish of powder all over the face - to set it in place I assume.

"Some of the other passengers were looking quite bemused, others just a glance - so clearly totally normal for their journey."

The woman who works for a train operator said she had also seen "a middle aged lady get the nail polish out and proceed to not only give her fingernails a good top up but also add a layer to her toenails as well".

"It has become the norm to bring bathroom habits to the train journey to presumably snatch a few extra minutes sleep in the morning," she said.

The recliners

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"Feet on seats is never, ever acceptable," said Phil Dibbs, from North Yorkshire. "I always ask people to put their feet down."

"Part of it is seat blocking and part of it is a lack of respect. It's a complete disregard of other people."

Martin Officer said it was "totally selfish" and annoyed him "particularly as they would never do it at home".

Other bug bears from readers included putting bags or dogs on seats, sitting in other people's reserved seats and people parking themselves next to the aisle when the window seat is vacant.