I’m Impressed by Transport for London (TfL)

Written by Karen Bryan

I recently spent a week on London. I was so impressed by Transport for London (TfL). I chose accommodation located in a central location to facilitate getting around.

My studio was in North Gower Street, close to Euston railway station. I was also close to three Tube stations; Euston, Euston Square and Warren Street . Plus, there were lots of bus stops within a five minute walk.

I travelled outside the central Zone on three days 1 e.g., to Eltham Palace in south east London and to Willesden in north west London. I used the Tube, buses, Overground and National Rail. I never waited for more than five minutes, even on a Sunday.

For six days of travel in London, I paid £42, which was such good value for money. I travelled during both peak and off-peak times of day.

This is in stark contrast the public transport in Stirling in central Scotland, particularly Scotrail, which is so unreliable, with frequent cancellations, and tickets are expensive.

It costs around £9 for an off-peak day return by train from Stirling to Glasgow. But an off-peak ticket means that you can’t catch a train departing from Stirling until 09.15, or return from Glasgow to Stirling for two hours in the afternoon peak period. An any time return train ticket from Stirling to Glasgow costs £14.

There is an express bus service between Stirling and Glasgow, but the service isn’t frequent outwith peak hours. There is a slower alternative by bus, but I don’t want to spend 2+ hours on a bus, compared to 30 minutes on the train.

If public transport in central Scotland were more reliable and cheaper, then I might consider getting rid of my car, especially as I will get free bus travel in Scotland from later this month, when I am 60 years old.

At least I will be able to buy a Senior Railcard when I cam 60, which will give me one third of most train fares.

It costs more than £300 a month to have an almost six year old diesel supermini on the road, but the car gives me so much more flexibility. and freedom than relying solely on public transport. For example, it would take ages to get to my Dad’s in Kirkcaldy by public transport.

If I lived in a London borough, I would be eligible for a 60+ Oyster London Photocard, which would give me free travel on the Tube, Overground, buses, DLR, tram and most National Rail services within London. That’s a much better deal than getting a bus pass in Scotland.