London is a large city and getting around can be an issue for both residents and visitors alike. Driving can be a bit of a nightmare, especially if you are not used to heavy city traffic and the cost of taking cabs soon mounts up.
If you want to get about and see the sights without breaking the bank, then your best bet is public transport. Despite the fact that Brits love to moan about public transport, the Underground is actually quite reliable. Because the trains run so frequently, if you miss one then you really only have a few minutes to wait before the next one pulls in. London Underground even provides service screens on each platform, letting you know how long the next train will be.
Oyster cards are a great way to get around London and are not just for locals. Daily, weekly, monthly and annual travel cards can be loaded on to your Oyster card. London Oyster cards are valid on all Underground services, the DLR, buses and trams, Thames Clippers (river ferries) and most national rail services.
A London Oyster card is a prepaid card, which means you top it up with the amount you think you will need. They are also the most cost-effective way of travelling around London, as the aim is to ensure that you always pay the lowest-possible fare. For instance, if you use the card to travel to many places during the one day, then instead of charging you for lots single fares, the card will charge you the equivalent fare for a day-travel card.
If you are a visitor, you can buy your Oyster card in advance, meaning that you will be ready to get on with your day as soon as you arrive. Do, however, make sure you have enough credit on your card for your whole journey before you board the train. If you don`t you may be fined.
If you are a proficient cyclist, then hiring a bicycle is a great way to get around. It`s quick, easy and cheap and all you need is a credit or debit card and, preferably, a helmet. Transport for London has introduced a bicycle-hire scheme which provides both membership (for locals who use the scheme a lot) and also casual-use (for visitors and occasional users) options.
If you think you will use the scheme a lot, you can buy membership which provides you with a key and quick access to a bike. If you are a visitor or casual user, then you will need to use the terminal at the bike stand and buy casual access time which will allow you to unlock a bike using a code. You can include additional bike users, as long as they are over 14 years old.
If you are not a confident cyclist, then cycling-proficiency courses are available through the scheme, but you will need to live, work or study in London to be eligible for one of the free or subsidised courses.
Getting around London doesn’t have to cost a fortune and if all this has given you food for thought, then why not start planning your visit?
Content provided by Search Sciences LLP