Britons ‘even talking to neighbours’

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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 per cent 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 per cent of Londoners said they would like to get to know their neighbours better, closely followed by 30 per cent in the West Midlands and 29 per cent in Wales, the poll found.

Those living in Northern Ireland were the least likely to get to know their neighbours better with only 9 per cent saying they would make the effort, according to the figures.

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 per cent greeting their neighbours most days and 77 per cent 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 per cent of Londoners would also trust their neighbours to keep an eye on their property.