London, which is the English capital, has an incredible public transport network. An agency, called Transport for London (TfL), controls all kind of public transport such as London Underground, Overground, Buses, Tramlink, Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and London River Services.
Although London has an efficient transport system, travelling could become a little less convenient during peak hours as is the case with any major city in the world. Most people travel during these times which force them and their pockets to squeeze in order to reach their destinations. So, tourists are advised not to travel during these hours. Here are a few things to do in order to make travelling easy during peak hours in London:
Use Oyster Card or Contactless Payment
Oyster card could be used for any kind of transport whether it is Underground or Overground. It could be purchased from any ticket machine and usable after charging it up with cash or credit card at the same machine. It doesn’t save money only but time too. Instead of standing in the ticket machine for a long time, you just have to tap in your Oyster card.
The contactless card has similar benefits as an oyster card but only for the U.K. residents. Fares will be higher for foreign visitors because of foreign exchange charges but you could still save time. However, the Oyster card is a much better option than a contactless card for foreign visitors.
Avoid Middle Part of the Platforms
Most people usually stand around the middle of the stations. To avoid crowd, prefer to stand at either end of the platforms. So, you would most probably get into the tube because these are usually less packed at the very ends of platforms. You may miss one or two trains by doing so but the next train usually arrives at the station every few minutes during peak hours.
Be Aware of Signs and Announcements
Sometimes trains get a delay because of some technical problems which may put you in a rush-hour like situation. In these circumstances, be aware of the announcements and be ready for alternatives. All Underground stations post signs daily. Try to read them. It would help you plan alternative routes in the near future, if necessary.
Use Alternative Public Transport Services
Instead of sticking to only rails, try alternative transport services. Red London buses are a very good alternative. Yes, they also get busy in peak hours but they allow only a limited number of passengers.
London has an advanced system of renting and riding a bike which is called Santander Bikes. You can book your bike by touching the screen with your credit card at the bike docking station. Your credit card will be charged after returning the bike, based on the amount of time you used it for.
Walking is not exactly a mean of transportation but if your destination is less than two tube stops away, walking would take less time to reach there as compared to tubes. So, do not wait for a tube during peak hours, if your destination is on a walking distance.
Travelling in London during peak hours could be challenging but the commodious and efficient transport network provides plenty of options which save your time as well as money.