Games and jubilee boost neighbours

The Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee have boosted friendships between neighbours, with three in five British householders talking to those who live around them.

Figures based on a poll of 2,012 adults showed that Londoners lead the way in neighbourly behaviour with 59% saying they at least stop to chat whenever they see each other.

One in six said they are such good friends they regularly socialise together, according to the study by WhipCar car rental service.

Up to 33% of Londoners said they would like to get to know their neighbours better, closely followed by 30% in the West Midlands and 29% in Wales. Those living in Northern Ireland were the least likely to get to know their neighbours better with only 9% saying they would make the effort, according to the poll.

A WhipCar spokesman said: "As the nation experiences two momentous celebrations this year, the traditional British reserve has melted away.

"Across the country the UK has witnessed an epidemic of Britons embracing their local communities with 41% greeting their neighbours most days and 77% talking at least once a week."

According to the study, the Olympics has engendered friendly feelings in the capital with Londoners suddenly finding themselves talking on the Tube.

More than a quarter of Britons say they would like to get to know their immediate neighbours better and this rises to a third of people living in London, a year on from the London riots, the spokesman said.

The findings also revealed that 61% of Londoners would also trust their neighbours to keep an eye on their property, while 32% would let their neighbour use their car.

Vinay Gupta, co-founder of WhipCar, said: "Our research paints a picture of a Britain that's feeling particularly united right now. The London 2012 Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee seem to have nudged neighbourhoods closer together - and particularly Londoners."