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The question

The construction industry is notorious for making people travel huge distances to work, but surely nothing can match Blackburn check-out worker Lynne Siddiq, who loves her two-day a week supermarket job so much that she commutes from Marbella. Or can it?

The most unexpected commute I have had was to Lesotho in the 1970s. The journey started by air, in a DC10 to Johannesburg, followed by a 737 to the capital, Maseru. A twin-engined plane then got us to the Drakensberg Mountains, where to reach the site we were each provided with. . . a horse. Luckily my colleague knew how to drive one.

Jon Balley, 52, water engineer, Buckinghamshire

Some years ago I worked in Paris.

On one trip airport strikes forced me to get a train from Scotland and take a hovercraft across the Channel. Unfortunately it was the day of record 30 foot waves - the crossing took almost twice as long as normal and I've never seen so many people being sick in one place. I had to stop in Calais to recover. The journey took three days and cost four times as much.

Robin Thomson, structural engineer, Linlithgow

In my industrial training year I was living on the west side of Bradford and working on the east side of Leeds. I had to catch a smokefilled bus with odours of curry and stale Websters into the centre of Bradford, then catch a smoke-filled bus with odours of stale Tetleys to Leeds bus station before catching the workers' bus to site. After an hour of public transport, it was desperate suffering the essence of building workers for another 20 minutes. I then had the whole day thinking about the return journey. I still have the nightmares.

Andrew Worby, 54, civil engineer, Bath

I took two of my team on a survey to Gibraltar a couple of years back. During the flight, one was a little quieter than usual. He left his in-flight meal and seemed to be spending a lot of time in the toilet.

Coming back from his sixth visit, and looking very pale, he admitted that he was terrified of flying. I hadn't thought to ask. Oops!

Andria Hubbard, group engineer, Exeter

I have always tried to avoid nightmare commuting. Driving the 12 miles between my digs in Southend and my site in Basildon as a young graduate was enough to convince me that this was a crazy route to an early grave. Since then I have often travelled further, but try to avoid the stress of driving.

Alasdair Massie, 40, senior engineer, Cambridge

I used to commute 1,200 miles a week from South Wales to work on the M25. Yet recently I have found something worse - commuting from a house 50m from the sea, leaving the rest of the family in bed and on holiday as I drive the one hour into Belfast.

Jim Fennell, 35, information systems manager, Belfast

Back in the 1970s I worked on the construction of the M602. I was living on the Fylde coast at the time and travelled to and from Manchester everyday down the A6.

Trouble was, the M61 was also being built at that time so as well as the rain, ice, snow and traffic there was the additional hazard of construction plant gaining access to the A6 and leaving copious amounts of muck on the road. I took out two car wash memberships, one in Eccles and one in Blackpool so that each day I could get a glimpse of the original colour of my car. In one year I clocked up 53,000 miles.

Lance Fogg, 59, managing consultant, Blackpool

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