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Tiden i London er 21:05
Public transport will no doubt be a new experience for many 'travellers' arriving in London for the first time. The company that runs much of this system is called London Transport (LT).
The main ways of getting around and out of the capital are the following :
• Underground (Tube) (LT run)
• Buses (LT run)
• Black cabs
• Mini cabs
• British rail (LT run)
Traveling on the London Transport system (Underground, buses, British Rail) can be very simple as one ticket works on all forms of their transport.
Airports to central London
There are 2 options available.
Heathrow Express is the non-stop train service that offers the fastest option between Heathrow Airport and central London (Paddington Station). Services run from 05:02 to 23:47 (from Heathrow) every 15 minutes - the journey time - just 15 minutes. Once at Paddington you can make use of the Underground etc. Click here for more information or to pre-book a ticket.
Underground - The Piccadilly Line (dark blue) will take you to central London. Heathrow is zone 6 cost approximately £7.
There are 2 options available.
Gatwick Express offers dedicated, high-speed travel between Central London and Gatwick Airport. With a journey time of just 30 minutes from London Victoria to Gatwick, there is no faster way between the heart of the city and the airport. Click here for more information or to pre-book a ticket
Easybus - Easybus system pick you up from Gatwick airport runs every 15 minutes to fulham broadway cost about £5 each way then you will need to take the underground to central - District (green) line
There are 2 options available.
Stanstead Express is the fastest and most convenient way to and from Stansted Airport, with trains departing every 15 or 30 minutes (15 minutes from 0800 to 1700 weekdays and every 30 minutes early morning) evening weekdays and weekends. With an average journey time of approximately 45 minutes (41 minutes to the City of London & Liverpool Street station). Click here for more information or to pre-book a ticket
Easybus - Easybus system pick you up from STansted airport runs every 15 minutes to Victoria cost about £5 each way then you will need to take the underground to central - Victoria (blue) line
The London Underground is the oldest underground rail system in the world, having come to life in 1863 when they used steam engines to ferry passengers along the underground tunnels. Things have come a long way since then and today you will join another 2.5 million passengers that use the system daily if you choose to make use of it.
The system has 13 lines and these are differentiated on a tube map by using colours. These Tube maps are also available free of charge at any tube station. Trains run from about 5:30 am until about 12:30 am, 365 days a year. Closing times vary slightly according to the day e.g. earlier on Sunday than Saturday.
The fare system is based on zones (zones 1-6). These zones radiate outwards from the centre of the Tube system in concentric circles, much like the segments of an onion. Zone 1 covers most central areas while zone 6 covers the outlying areas.
The best way to pay for your travel on the Underground is by purchasing a travel card. The travel card will specify how long you are allowed to make use of the system (one day, one week, one month) and which zones you are allowed to travel in e.g. zone 1, zones 1-2, zones 1-3 etc. up to zones 1-6 where you have free reign of the system and can experience all zones.
Examples of current travel card charges are :
Zones Price (£)
Zone 1-2 £25.80
Zone 1-3 £30.20
Zone 1-4 £36.80
Zone 1-5 £44.00
Zone 1-6 £47.60
The beauty of these travel cards is that you can travel on all 3 modes of public transport run by London Transport (tube, buses, British Rail) within the zones and time period that you have purchased. You can jump off a British Rail train, onto the Underground and then hop onto a bus, all with your one ticket. Talk about a nice simple system.
When arriving at Heathrow, it is advisable to buy a one day, zones 1-6 travel card and head into town.
To exit the station, insert your ticket into the turnstile machine and collect it as it pops out. The exit gates will open as soon as you do this. Ask the staff on hand if you are unsure of how to do this.
Escalators are subjected to one of those unwritten laws that society abides by. It goes something like this : When one travels on an escalator and one plans to stand still then one must move to the right hand side of the escalator. All moving traffic is to move to the left hand side of the escalator. Sounds strange, but it works pretty well and it is suggested that you adhere to it to avoid the comments and hairy eyeballs.
For further information on the London Underground consult the London Transport web site www.londontransport.co.uk
You will get a chance to ride on one of the world famous red London buses. These buses move along routes all over London. You can purchase each journey individually or you can use your London Transport travel card, that you use to travel on the tube. Fares start at 60p on some routes, but you will pay about 90p in zone 1. You can get free copies of bus maps from London Travel Information Centres. Click here for more information.
It's late at night, the tube has stopped running, you're stranded in the West End after a great night out and you don't have the money for a black cab. What now? Bring on the night bus. These buses run from midnight until 6am and leave from Trafalgar Square. They can be identified by an N before the number. They usually leave every hour, on the hour, and can be a hive of activity as all of the revellers spill out of the various establishments onto these buses. Travel cards can be used, as with other buses, but daily travel cards cannot be used after midnight.
Another legendary London icon is the black cab. There are over 20,000 that operate at present. Drivers have to write an exam called the 'Knowledge' and they know London like the back of their hands. These are more expensive than public transport, but they can work out quite economical if a few of you jump in at once (maximum of 5 passengers). The fare meter is always visible, so you can watch your hard earned pounds ticking away.
Unoccupied cabs have their yellow lights on their roofs illuminated. To hail one, just stick out your arm and wave it around a bit. The drivers seem to have a sixth sense that detects this arm movement and should grind to halt. Occupied cabs have the yellow roof light switched off and a small blue light in the rear switched on. They will not halt, no matter how frantically you wave your arm. Click here to book a cab.
These are independent operators that run in different areas. They normally drop business cards through your postbox as a way of marketing themselves. Unlike black cabs where the fare meter is clearly visible, minicab fares are negotiable. Make sure you agree a fare over the phone before they fetch you as the industry is known to have some unscrupulous operators.
City cabs are based in Willesden Green and are very reasonable for airport pick ups and drop offs (approx £30) and can be reached on 0208 452 4477.