Updated: Aug 29
by: Arsie Gonzales
United Kingdom has one of the greatest transportation in the world. As a famous tourist destination with advanced network of modern railways, pavements and roads, it offers a lot of ways to explore the whole of UK either by train, bus, car, ferry or plane.
First thing that normally comes to our mind when we heard of UK is London. It is indeed the number one favourite destination for expats and tourists who come and visit the country. Therefore, making it one of the places with the heaviest traffic. On a lighter note, choosing the best mode of transportation is one strategic thing to do if you want to make the most of your day to enjoy this place. If you are not that keen on relaxing while sitting for hours in the bus or car for a long queue in traffic you can get to enjoy one of the most popular way of commuting which is by train famous to the so-called “Tube” in the City of London.
But hey! London is not the only attractive place you can see here in UK. So if you want to experience escapade galore and be able to travel around Europe too with just a bridge to cross-over from London, then come and join me explore the different means that could get us to some of the most spectacular places in the world.
Bus or Coaches.
UK has been made popular also by its famous double-decker bus. Especially in London wherein you can just purchase a day ticket for a hop-on-hop off bus tour around the City of London. You can buy it online or on the service bus station. For regular commute by bus, if you are new in the place and just about to start with your new job, it is important that you know where the closest bus stop is, the right bus you need to ride which is normally designated with specific number and of course the bus times if you want to get to your destination on time.
If United States of America is famous by its yellow cab, here in the United Kingdom, black cab is one the most iconic one. It would be nice to experience this famous mode of transportation as it gives you a nostalgic feeling of classic London but I wouldn’t recommend it as a regular day to day commute if you are quite tight on budget because this one comes with a price tag. There are also minicabs and Uber taxis which charge cheaper and are normally booked online or over the phone.
According to statistics almost 85% of Britons own a car. Therefore almost everyone has got their driving license which comes really handy too as form of proof of your identity. To be able to drive in the UK, first you need to obtain a provisional license (https://www.gov.uk/apply-first-provisional-driving-licence) .You can legally drive your own car here as early as 17 years of age provided you passed the theory test (https://www.gov.uk/take-practice-theory-test) and the practical exam (https://www.gov.uk/book-driving-test).
If you have just arrived here in the UK with a licence from another country of origin, check this site https://www.gov.uk/driving-nongb-licence if you are eligible to drive a car here with your non-GB license. And if you are allowed to do so, just be prepared to be driving in the left side of the road as it is one of the few countries with steering wheel positioned on the right hand side of the car.
Owning a car here in the UK, on my personal opinion, entails a lot of financial obligation because of the many fees you have to pay: road tax, MOT service fee annually, insurance, petrol and maintenance. Although it comes with a price, it also gives me a sense of freedom and independence to visit and enjoy the many beautiful places here in England.
UK is one of the first-world country that pioneered the train or the famous “Tube” as Britons called it. Their railway station is one of the most advanced and extensive in the world. The major stations in London are St. Pancras, Euston, Victoria and Charingcross Station. Britain’s extensive railway goes under water through a very long tunnel called the Channel Tunnel. Eurostar is the express train that takes this tunnel and would take you in no less than two hours to Paris, Brussels, Lille, Avignon, and French Alps.
Tickets for trains are available in every stations. You can also use the contactless credit or debit card and the oyster ticket too. When availing for tickets, it is good to check the train times for off-peak seasons or returns to enjoy some cheaper fair and also make sure you keep your ticket safe because there are some ticket inspector who does some random checks in the trains too.
Cycling. Most Britons are bike lovers and enjoy the ride with no better than pedalling their own bicycle. This is one of the most popular mode of transport here in the UK. Especially in London, where there are numerous docking stations for bicycle where you can just rent using a debit or credit card. The Mayor has even provided a cyclist grid for cycle enthusiasts to be safe in their journey.
Airlines/Airports. United Kingdom has numerous airports all over the country. The five most famous ones are the Heathrow Airport, London Gatwick Airport, Luton Airport, London Stansted Airport and Manchester Airport. The second and eight busiest airports in the world are London Heathrow and Gatwick Airports respectively because these are the main hubs for express freight operations and the most influx of people travelling back and forth to UK and outside the country.
Choosing the best mode of transportation is entirely up to you. London can be overwhelmingly busy and traffic jam is usually expected during the peak hours. The hefty congestion fee may also discourage you from driving around London. Hence, many choose to go on tube and bus rather than drive. On the flip side, residents in the countryside may prefer driving a car for convenience. Whatever transport means that will suit your budget and your choice, UK offers a great transport system that will surely take you from point A to point B.