An island full of lost people – sound familiar? According to research from O2 to launch its free Streetmap service, 41.79 million* of UK adults within the British Isles confess to getting lost when out and about (86.7%).

City Centres (36%), One Way Systems (29%) and Giant Shopping Centres tend to cause us the most problems, however Railway Stations (7%) and even Music Festivals (6%) are also causing us Brits to lose our way. The exclusively designed downloadable version of will help keep O2 subscribers in the UK from getting lost and is easily accessed, free of charge until 21 August 2006 on their mobile handset through the entertainment portal O2 Active.

Where in the UK Am I?

Manchester City Centre gets the dubious honour of being crowned the Worst Lost Hotspot in the UK, beating Heathrow Airport and even the M6 to the number one spot. Incredibly 2.7 million of us Brits confess to having been lost in Manchester city centre. Further to this 2.4 million of us have lost our way at Heathrow Airport and 2.25 million have screamed with frustration as we’ve found ourselves heading in the wrong direction on the M6.

Worst ‘Lost’ HotSpots In The UK

No 1. Manchester City Centre 67 (2.7 million**)

No 2. Heathrow Airport 60 (2.4 million)

No 3. M6 (including Spaghetti Junction) 56 (2.25 million)

No 4. London’s One Way Systems 45 (1.8 million)

No 5. Ikea Department Store 37 (1.5 million)

No 6. Meadowhall Shopping Centre 30 (1.2 million)

No 7. Alton Towers Theme Park 22 (800,000)

No 8. Kings Cross Railway Station 17 (710,000)

No 9. Devon Country Lanes 15 (620,000)

No 10. Lakeside Multistorey Car park 12 (500,000)

When compared to men women are 3 times more likely to get lost often. The research also shows that whilst men and women do tend to get lost in similar situations, women are in fact around twice as likely to get lost on motorway junctions or even in multi storey car parks!

However it’s not just about where people get lost, when is also a key factor……


No 10 – The Dating Disaster….nearly ¾ million UK adults get lost on their way to find love

No 9 – Train Pains…. 6.1% of the UK adult population get lost trying to catch a train

No 8 – The Job Interview….8% of the population make a bad first impression by getting lost on the way to a job interview

No 7 – None of Your Business….9.1% or 5.5 million adults in the UK get lost on the way to that all important business meeting

No 6 – Weddings or funerals….. 10% of UK adults arrive late having lost their way

No 5 – Day out in the country….. country lanes prove a problem for 12% of the UK

No 4 – Being low on petrol …creating a panic situation for 12% of the UK when lost

No 3 – Various ….12% of the UK just tend to get lost in random locations

No 2 – Holiday horrors …. over one third, 37%, of UK adults get lost on holiday

No 1 – Diversions…. proof that we Brits are indeed creatures of habit as at least half of all UK adults (52%), claim that they are most likely to get lost when there is a diversion

Time to Break Sod’s Law!

Even with maps and guides, Brits still run the risk of going the wrong way as at least ¾ of the UK claim that they do indeed believe in ‘Sod’s Law’, the law that states ‘if anything can go wrong it will. The majority of the nation’s belief in Sod’s Law is so strong that 76% agree that this is a reason for getting lost at the most inconvenient time. The Streetmap service on O2 will even help the most hopelessly lost, as it allows customers to pinpoint exactly where in the UK they are. By simply clicking a locate button your position on the map will instantly appear and once you know where you are you can work out where it is you want to go![1]

[1] Subject to network coverage. Standard browsing costs apply but download of maps is free until 21st August 2006.

Journalists can contact the Virgin Media O2 press office on: 01753 565656
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