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Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Commuting by train or driving and parking into Central London?

Driving into London can take longer and expensive as you have to tackle your way through the traffic jam, pay the Congestion charge and pay a fortune for parking. If your going into Central London for the purpose of attending appointments, Job interview, tourism…etc

The fuel would cost you between £5.00 or £15.00 (Source Google Maps) to drive inside the M25 motorway and into Central London, depending where you travel from.


Low Emissions Zone sign

Depending on the Emission on your vehicle, you have to pay the Low Emission Zone to avoid the fine (up to £500), cars are usually exempt from the Low Emission Zone.

Congestion Charge sign

Plus you have to pay the Congestion Charge which is £10 (soon to be £11.50) in order to drive inside the Central London area.

Red Route sign

Also you have to move on because of the double red lines called the Red Route in which your not allowed to stop or park which gives you a fine over £130 (usually depends on situation.) Then you have to pay for the parking in which is between  £24.00 for 4 hours parking at Q-Park by Westminster or £58.00 for 24 hours at Arlington Street operated by Britannia Parking. Parkopedia have more information about parking and pricing for Central London. Parking on the street tends to be expensive like £1.00 for 15 minutes where you got to pay and display.

The parking fine is usually around £80 or £150 depending on what area you park on the street.
The total cost would be between the barrier of £50 or £100 to drive into Central London and park there. It’s considerable higher depending how far your travelling from.

London Underground Station Entrance

But the cheapest option is to commute to London by parking in a Zone 6 station which can cost at around £5 or £7 at a Tube Station. Plus £5 deposit for an Oyster card, depending on the time you travel, it you need to put £20 for the On Peak price cap of £15.80 (before 9.30am) or £10.00 for a price cap of £8.50 (after 9.31am) to enable you to travel into Central London by Tube or Rail from zone 6 to zone 1. Also you can get around Central London by bus which is inclusive from your Oyster card price cap.

If you don’t want to use an Oyster Card and you prefer to use the Paper Travelcard, it would cost you £17.00 for an Peak Travelcard (before 9:30am) and £8.90 for an off peak Travelcard (after 9:30) but when you use it in buses you need to show it to the driver or the conductor.  Please note not all Tube Stations or London Transport ticket agents is issuing paper Travelcards so you have to use an Oyster card, the paper Travelcard is still sold at any National Rail stations. More information on Oyster price caps and Travelcard prices is on this link.

So you be spending around £30 depending on the times you travel into Central London by train or London Underground.

Comparing by travelling by car or Train into Central London.

Travelling by car into Central London
Commuting by train to Central London
Traffic jams in the busy street.
Overcrowding when using the train or Underground system.
It would be expensive to drive into Central London and park there because of Fuel, Low Emission Zone (depends on vehicle)
It would be cheaper to commute by Train or Underground to Central London
Risk of vehicle being vandalised if you park on the street. But less chance from parking in a car park in Central London because of security.
Minimal chance of your vehicle being vandalised if you park it in a train station where the security watch the cars.
You would end up lost in the suburbs of London if you don’t have a satellite navigator.
The train will take you straight into London and there are signage helps you navigate where you need to go.
It takes longer to get to Central London because of Traffic jams and junctions you have to encounter.
It is quicker by train because it stops at station which takes a boarding time of average at around 30 seconds.
Roads can end up being closed which cause you to divert to other roads.
Tube or Rail system can be disrupted by the strike or engineering works.

Conclusion

I think you be better off travelling by Train to get to Central London, if you live in a Zone 6 area it still more cheaper that way because you spend under £10 for an off peak Travelcard to travel to Central London. But another negative problem is the Tube Strikes which require you to take replacement buses, I be better off waiting for a few days till the strike ends. 

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