Friday, 12 September 2008

London Transport

Much is written about public transport in London, both good and bad. I, myself, have written about my preference for buses rather than the tube system which is nothing to do with the quality of service. My preference is largely due to my long-term phobia of being underground. I am not knowingly scared of going underground and I do not have any specific fears of travelling on the tube but I do, nevertheless, have these mini-panic attacks so I simply prefer to use the bus whenever possible.

In my opinion, as a person who uses the London transport services on occasion rather than on a regular basis, Transport for London is doing a grand job. I really don’t have anything significant to complain about as a London visitor. Sure, the tubes can be crowded at rush hour but stand back from the crowd and wait for the next one! Let’s face it, if you’re on holiday or day-tripping then there’s really no need to put yourself through the “trauma” of travelling at rush hour. If you are staying in central London then try walking instead – you will see a lot more of London that way and you can always hop on a bus if your feet start to ache!

As part of the latest changes to London Ding Dong I’ve added a handy little tool on the bottom left of the page. I generally use the Transport for London journey planner to check routes and also to get an idea of how long my journey will take once I’ve arrived in London by train. You can request route plans to and from stations (mainline train and underground), specific postcodes, addresses and even places of interest which is particularly handy when you’re sightseeing. The results give you various route options and include all forms of public transport as well as any walking required. Maps are also provided if you need them. This is a really handy tool if you are visiting London and certainly takes the effort out of journey planning!

I think, when you are visiting a strange city, whether it’s in your own country or abroad, navigating the public transport system is one of the most challenging things. So do your research before you leave home and when you arrive in London you should find getting around London a little less daunting!

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