London Public Transport
London is a sprawling city, but it has a comprehensive transport network which makes it easy to get around.
However the system is overloaded and can be overcrowded at times.
Serious efforts are underway to improve public transport with many
new buses and longterm plans for additional underground lines
and Crossrail, a fast east-west rail line through the centre of London,
hopefully ready for the 2012 Olympic Games. The Docklands Light Railway is
a quick and comfortable way to travel to the east of the city and City Airport,
connecting with the underground at Bank and Canary Wharf.
London travel information: 020 7222 1234
Unless you have no option, avoid travelling during the morning and evening
rush hours (Mon-Fri, 8am-10am and 5pm-6.30pm) when busy Londoners
travel to and from work.
23rd Floor. Empress State Building,
Empress Approach, London SW6 1TR.
Q020 7222 5600 (customer services); 020 7222 1234 (travel information);
0845 300 7000 (London bus information); 020 7649 9123; Fax 020 7918 3134;
With over 17 000 vehicles on the road and another 2-3,000 planned over the
next few years, the famed red London buses provide an economical and efficient way of exploring the capital and
admiring garden layouts and details of buildings above street level.
There are about 6 million journeys by bus in the capital each week!
Bus maps are available from underground ticket offices, tourist
information points and Transport for London. Bus routes are displayed in
bus shelters as well as inside the buses themselves; note that most bus stop
signs will bear the name of the stop, but if in doubt ask a passenger or the
conductor. Where there are a number of routes at key points, the different
bus stops have a letter (A, B, C etc) - check that you are at the correct stop
and travelling in the right direction at the map on the bus stop sign.
Reduced services on some routes operate through the night - most of
them converging on Trafalgar Square. White signs with the red logo indicate
bus stops at which all listed buses must stop; red signs with the white
logo are request stops at which passengers must wave to the bus to
indicate that it should stop to pick up passengers. Night buses (prehxed
with "N" or on a blue tile located on the bus stop) stop only if requested.
Buses are considerably cheaper than trains or the underground, but they
are also slower. Tickets cost £2 for a singlejourney of any length (you must
pay again if you change buses during yourjourney); £3.50 for a one-day
London-wide bus pass (after 9.30am);
£6 for a saver carnet of 6 tickets;
£11 all zones for a 7 day pass.
The price is much cheaper - £1 with a pre-pay Oyster card (Q See opposite). Children
under the age of 16 years travel free;
16-17 year olds have a 30% discount.
Above the age of 11, they must have
a child Oyster photocard, obtained
with age ID from Oyster sellers and
underground ticket offices.
In central London you must buy a
ticket before you board. There are
ticket machines at every bus stop
within the pre-pay area.
Number 11 visits King's Road, Palace of Westminster, Whitehall, Trafalgar
Square, Fleet Street, St Paul's, Mansion House, and 15 travels to Paddington,
Marble Arch, Oxford Street, Regent Street, Trafalgar Square, Strand, Fleet
Street, St Paul's, Monument, Tower of London, and Whitechapel.
Numbers 9 and 10 from Hammersmith go through Kensington and
Knightsbridge to Hyde Park Corner;
No 9 then runs to Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square to the Strand and the
Aldwych (for Covent Garden);
No 10 continues along Park Lane to Marble Arch, Oxford St, Tottenham Court Rd to Euston and King's Cross.
No 8 starts in Victoria, travels along Park Lane to Marble Arch, Oxford St,
past Bond St to Oxford Circus, Holborn and the City taking in Old Bailey,
Guildhall, Liverpool St and Spitallields to east London.
No 24 goes from Victoria to Hamp-
stead via Westminster, Whitehall, Tra-
falgar Square, Leicester Square, along
Charing Cross Rd,Tottenham Court
Rd (for Bloomsbury) and through
Camden to Hampstead Heath.
No 19 travels through Islington, Clerk-
enwell, Holborn and Bloomsbury, then
along New Oxford St, Charing Cross
Rd, Shaftesbury Ave and Piccadilly
past Green Park and Hyde Park Corner,
along Knightsbridge, Sloane St to
King's Rd and then to Battersea.
No 159 comes into the centre from south London, passing the Imperial War Museum, Waterloo Station
and the London Eye, Westminster, Whitehall, Trafalgar Square, Regent
Street, Oxford Street and ends at Marble Arch.
RV1 runs from Tower Bridge south of
the river, via London Bridge, the Tate
Modern, the South Bank and Waterloo
to Covent Garden.
In December 2005, the last of the classic Routemaster buses were taken out of service, but they will continue to run on two heritage routes (every 15 min 9.30am-5.30pm):
No 15 - Trafalgar Square, Strand, Fleet Street, Ludgate Hill, Cannon Street, Eastcheap, and Tower Hill.
No 9 - Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Road, Knightsbridge, Piccadilly, Trafalgar Square, Strand and Aldwych.
The London Underground network
is divided into 6 zones with Zone 1
covering central London.
Single (£4) or return tickets can be purchased only at underground stations.
They must be retained after passing through the electronic barrier as they
are required to pass through a second barrier at the end of the journey.
Inspectors may also do spot checks so do not destroy or deface them. Single
zone ticket extensions must be purchased before you travel. For the most
efhcient and least expensive travel, purchase an Oyster Card.
To calculate an estimated journey time, count three minutes between
stations and an average of fifteen minutes to change lines. Trains run from Central London 5:30am-12:30am Mon-Fri and 7.30am-11.30pm on Sun. Each line has a name and a differnet colour.
Zoned tube tickets are sold singly
at tube stations. All children under
the age of S years travel free on the
Underground, only two per accompa-
nying adult on the buses may travel
free of charge. Passengers must have a
valid ticket for their com plete journey
or they may be liable to pay on-the-spot penalties (£5 buses,
Tickets range in price from £3 - £4 per
journey for a single tubejourney.
A carnet of 10 tube/DLR tickets
The cheapest way to travel in London is to buy a pre-pay Oyster Card,
available from underground ticket oflices and designated newsagents.
This is a plastic 'smart' card which you buy over the counter, load up with
as much money as you choose and can reload as and when you need to
(check the amount remaining as you swipe it at the turnstiles). You simply
hold it against a reader terminal on the bus or as you enter the tube. It
acts as a singlejourney ticket until it reaches the cost of a day's bus pass or
travelcard (depending on which form of transport you are using) when it
automatically converts itself to a day pass for the rest of the day. They are
usable on the underground, buses, trams and commuter mainline services
within Greater London. Even better, in an attempt to encourage people
to convert, fares are considerably cheaper than normal singlejourney
tickets, starting at £1 for a bus journey and a tube fare outside zone one.