The UK is, by comparison to many Countries in the World, small, compact and crowded. It can take as long to drive 10 miles through London as to take a train from London to York. No means of transport wins out every time and it is ,more about choosing the most appropriate option for the trip you have in mind.
With in London, the smelly, inefficient, over congested underground system is a sure winner. On a good day, it can whisk you from one side of the capital to the other in under an hour. on a poor day, or at rush hour, you can spend the same length of time just trying to get on a train!
For more information click here.
To download a pdf tube map, click here
To get further a field, or pretty much anywhere south of the river, you'll need to leave the Tube for the wonders of Main Line Rail.
The Railway system has undergone dramatic investment and renewal over the past decade, but this has done little to make up for the decades of under-funding. Whilst some of the rolling stock is clean, new and well maintained, a good deal remains of the old, slam-door, variety, renowned for its lack of safety and rickety ride.
Rail travel also lacks the cheapness seen in much of the world, and it is often cheaper to fly between cities than to catch a train. It is always worth comparing prices. That said, low cost fares do exist, particularly for travelling out of peak times and if you can buy your ticket far enough in advance.
For more information go to National Rail enquiries
To download a pdf Network Rail map, click here
In London, forget it.
With the London congestion charge of £8 per day in the city centre, very limited parking availability and a notorious collection of one way systems, using a car in London is not recommended.
The London congestion charge is a fee for some motorists travelling within those parts of Lodnon designated as the Congestion Charge Zone (CCZ). The main objectives of this charge are to reduce congestion, and to raise funds for investment in London's transport system. The zone came into operation back in 2003 and it was extended to in 2007. A payment of £8 is required for each day a vehicle enters or travels within the zone between 7am and 6pm (Monday-Friday only); a fine of between £60 and £180 is imposed for non-payment. Click here to pay the Charge.
Further out and in the rest of the country, however, access to your own vehicle can often be essential.
The country is flooded with hire companies, both local independents and international chains. You can choose the size of car you require, depending on whether comfort or price is the most important factor, but generally you'll end up with a car of less than 12 months old, in good condition, with breakdown insurance thrown in.
You'll need a current local or national map book, obtainable in most newsagents and bookstores.
A few points to remember;
- Drive on the Left.
- Read through a copy of the Highway Code before getting behind the wheel.
- Distances on sign-posts are given in Miles.
- Petrol is priced per Litre.
- There may be more than one place with the same name.
- Most roads are toll free, but you will occasionally find a bridge you have to pay to cross.
- Motorways have a speed limit of 70 miles per hour, as do dual-carriageways.
- The national speed limit is 60 miles per hour on other roads, unless indicated lower.
- Residential areas may have speed limits as low as 20 miles per hour.
There are a number of regional airports throughout the Country and it is often quicker and cheaper to fly than to try to get along on the ground.
Recent anti-terrorist security measures have meant an increase to the pre-flight check-in time and severe restrictions on what items may be carried as hand-luggage. None-the-less, flying is always worth considering if you haven't got too much to take with you and don't mind mixing it with suited businessmen scurrying between meetings.
For details of airports around London and means of travelling to them Click Here
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