Drive Yourself

Maybe not such a good idea. The average traffic speed in London is now something like six miles an hour, which is slower than a horse and carriage.

In spite of this, and fuel that's among the most expensive in the world, driving is still cheaper and usually faster than public transport; and it's the only option if you have heavy kit to move about (unless someone else is paying for it). So, be sensible. Don't try to drive during rush-hours, in practice about 7.30-9.30am and 3.30-7pm. (Even going against the rush - while much better than going with it - will be slower than normal driving. Think junctions.) Know your routes, and know your backup routes in case of sudden jams, road-works, street parades, or whatever. Get a good A-Z (or similar atlas of London) - ideally one of the inch-thick A4 ones that covers everything within the M25 - and learn to use it.

From February 2003, driving in central London during office hours will incur a congestion charge of £5.

I disagree that driving is cheaper than public transport; of course it depends where, and certainly in outer London it will be, but coming to and from central London when taking into account petrol, parking costs (which are astronomical) and the congestion charge, it's almost always cheaper to get a travelcard (which incidentally costs about the same as the congestion charge - �5.40 off peak travelcard for 2004 vs. �5 for the C-charge! Add on parking costs and the �11 peak travelcard is still pretty cheap, but a simple return journey incurs a maximum of �7.60). It's only cheaper to drive into the centre during the night and on Sundays when a lot of street parking is free. --Dave

Last edited 2003-12-12 16:08:29 (version 6; diff). List all versions.