Commuters in Beijing urged to get into punch-ups on their way to work

When on a packed commuter train, many of us will be familiar with the feeling of wanting to punch something or someone while navigating ill-placed bags, perilous cafe lattes and frayed tempers.

However, in Beijing, stressed-out commuters are being urged to work off their frustrations on the way to work.

Luckily, their pent-up aggression is not directed at fellow human beings but giant punch bags that have been put up in underground stations to reduce the number of commuters taking out rush-hour stress on station and train staff.

Train station punch bags may also be a good idea in the UK, where train operators have been accused of cramming too many computers into carriages.

Figures from the Office of Regulation, published yesterday (12 August), showed that 3% of rush-hour passengers on trains in London and the south-east in 2010 were crammed onto trains that were already too full to hold them. This means that, on average, the trains were carrying 20,000 more people than they were designed to hold.

The most crowded trains were those operated by First Great Western to London Paddington between 7am and 10am, with 18.5% passengers above capacity.

Perhaps even the biggest punch bag would not be able to withstand that much aggression.

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