speaking, moths and vomit are just some of the phobias gripping the
nation. A massive 72% of Brits find themselves anxious and
panicked on a daily basis as they come face to face with their
The most common phobia shared by 38% of people is Spiders, otherwise
known as arachnophobia. 25% of people are terrified of
heights, and snakes put the fear of God into 15% of people.
And the 4th most common phobia, shared by 10% of folk, is flying.
Aerophobia, or aviatophobia, means that 1 in 10 holidaymakers find
going abroad a traumatic and unhappy experience.
Other phobias to appear in the top 10 include injections, bees or
wasps, and public speaking. More unusual fears include moths
for 9% of folk, dying for 10% of people and pigeons for 5% of
A spokesman for the iPILOT Flight Simulator, which helps people
overcome their fear of flying and which conducted the poll of 3,000
people said:- ‘The poll demonstrates that most people are
afraid of something, and much of the time the phobia can be quite
debilitating. For some people, their fears can largely be
avoided without too much trouble – spiders, moths and bees can be
run away from, snakes are rarely seen and public speaking is only
necessary for a finite number of jobs. But fears such as
heights, flying or enclosed spaces are on a completely different
level - all of these phobias are recognised as being incredibly
stressful, life altering and incapacitating.
Luckily there are ways and means of making a phobia more bearable so
that people can do ordinary things such as getting in a place to go
on holiday or walking out of the house without being frightened.
Our research shows that people’s fear of flying is part of being
exposed to the unknown. Taking control of our flight simulator
under the guidance of an experienced commercial pilot helps people
understand how aircraft fly, which noises are normal and that
turbulence is nothing to worry about - we don't just create
sensation of flying, we teach it.”
The poll shows that symptoms such as rapid heart beat, sweaty palms
and nausea are common occurrences for people with a phobia.
Unfortunately for more serious sufferers, having a fear of something
can be damaging for relationships and family life. 15% of
those questioned said a relationship with a partner had suffered
because of their phobia, and 18% have regular arguments will family
members because of their fears. 10% of people have had to give
up a job they loved due to their dread, and 14% of people have had
trouble making friends as a consequence. Worrying, phobias are
often passed from one generation to the next, as parents influence
the way their child thinks and reacts. 14% of parents say
their children already suffer from exactly the same phobias.
The spokesman for iPILOT, which is being launched in Westfield
Shopping Centre in London, continues:- “The fact that fears
can be picked up from other people is very concerning indeed, but
this is another reason why people should address their fears and try
to get help as soon as possible.”
TOP 20 MOST COMMON PHOBIAS
||Bees or wasps
Thunder & lightening
Walking over bridges
Tunnels clampdown on crime
than 260 vehicles were stop-checked by Mersey Tunnels police as part
of a clampdown on crime that took place overnight on Friday 11 December
The Tunnels Police coordinated the joint agency “Operation Mercury”,
launched to tackle illegal taxis, dangerous cars and Christmas drink
The police operation, based at the Kings Square exit of the
Queensway Tunnel, was supported by VOSA (Vehicle and Operator
Services Agency), immigration services and licensing enforcement
officers from Wirral and Liverpool.
Councillor Mark Dowd, Chair of Merseytravel, said:- "The
safety and security of drivers using the tunnels is paramount. This
is an important operation and one that supports the high visibility
patrols of our Tunnel Police force. Illegal drivers and drink
drivers are not welcome. The two tunnels are some of the safest
stretches of road in the country and we want to keep them that way.”
Mersey Tunnels Police issued 1 fixed penalty notice for tyre
offences and 2 stop notices for potential insurance offences.
During the operation 14 drivers were breathalysed; all passed; and
174 drivers were questioned in relation to the national drink drive
VOSA issued 9
immediate prohibition notices; 1 delayed prohibition notice and
launched 1 prosecution for vehicles deemed unroadworthy because of
defects or faults.
Liverpool Taxi Enforcement team issued 3 suspension notices, 5
defect notices and 3 prosecutions to taxi drivers. A total of 65
Liverpool-based taxis were stop-checked during the campaign.
Wirral Taxi Enforcement team issued 3 suspension notices and 9
defect notices to taxi drivers. A total of 32 Wirral-based taxis
UK Border and Immigration Officers investigated 9 suspected illegal
immigrants with 1 investigation pending.
Neil Scales, Chief Executive and Director General of Merseytravel
added:- "The Mersey Tunnels have an extremely good safety
record and this project is a great example of agencies working
together to tackle crime and enforce the laws that are there to
protect us. We have spent millions of pounds upgrading and
improving both tunnels, including the new escape chambers in
Queensway. It is important our enforcement matches that commitment."
Operation Mercury was set up to detect and prosecute unroadworthy
cars and other vehicles, illegal taxis and drivers and a range of
other offences. The aim of the operation is to promote a safer
environment in and around the Mersey Tunnels and their approach
Previous operations have also included Merseyside Police and
officers from Customs and Excise and Benefit Fraud Inspectorate.