Originally posted by Peter Rooke: During my time in the capitial, I was shocked at how much time the people down there spent traveling (or not - as was often the case) - It took ages to get anywhere.
What I find surprising is how often people take a train or bus when they could easily walk the same distance. Maybe its because they don't realise what a great city London is to walk around. When I first came to London I built a mental map of different locations related by the Tube system, and for ages I used to get the Tube everywhere. Eventually I began to realise just how close together everything is. Often its easier and quicker to walk within central London then to get the Tube. Besides, you get to see loads of cool stuff while doing it.
One example was going from Charing Cross to Oxford St. I always used to do this by Tube, but then one day realised that its not that far too walk. Now when I need to go between the two I'll walk it in about 15 mins and get to see Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, bits of Regent's Street and some of the West End - that's a lot of cool places to see en-route, its cheaper, and just as quick.
Despite all the complaints about the transport system in London, I quite like it. Compared to many other places, London really does have good transportation. There's very few places in the country where you can get so many places by bus in the middle of the night, and there's very few other places which could transport so many people every day. Given the millions of people who get on Tube trains every day, its not that surprising that they are sometimes a bit full!
There will be glitches in my transition from being a saloon bar sage to a world statesman. - Tony Banks
Joined: Jan 20, 2005
Originally posted by Henry Wong: Didn't the government promise to expand the tube, in time for the Olympics?
I don't think the Tube itself is expanding, but there is a new high-speed rail link being built between Stratford (nearest big station to the Olympic site) to central London. The Docklands Light Railway is also being expanded, so that will increase ease of transport around East London.
Rather then expand the system, what I'd like to see is more being spent on improving the maintenance of it. The number of times Tube trains are delayed because of maintenance works overrunning or the maintenance companies making a mistake is ridiculous. Ever since the government had the silly idea of replacing the state run Tube maintenance system with the complex mess of maintenance companies and subcontractors, its got much worse. It'd be nice to have this come back under the control of local or national government and get a bit of co-ordination into improving it and making it ready for the huge number of people coming along to watch the Olympics.