Driving in London can be stressful. Our capital is a minefield of bus lanes, cyclists, one-way systems, unobservant pedestrians, parking difficulties, the congestion charge…the list goes on. While public transport within the city is plentiful and frequent, there are times when you’ll either have to or want to drive around London. Follow our top tips to make London driving a breeze…
- Avoid peak times if possible. Nobody likes to be stuck in traffic, and by making sure you travel outside of rush hour, you’ll make your journey far easier. If you avoid driving in central London between 7am and 6pm Monday-Friday, you’ll also avoid having to shell out on paying the Congestion Charge (or on a massive fine if you forget!)
- If you DO end up driving in the capital during busy times, defend your patch with confidence! You’ll most likely find that other drivers won’t afford you any space, so you’ll have to be relatively aggressive when looking to change lane, pull out at a roundabout or to be able to pull away at a junction. Don’t expect other drivers to be polite…stand your ground!
- Following on from the previous point: stay alert. Expect other drivers not to indicate, tourists to walk out into the road and be aware of cyclists and motorcyclists at all times.
- Plan your route before you leave. Or go one step better, and take a sat nav with you too. London is a maze of one-way systems and multi-lane roundabouts…be prepared!
- Leave in plenty of time. While you’d expect rush hour to be busy, you can’t assume that other times will be quiet. Even if using a journey planner that has given an estimated journey time, allow longer.
- Plan your parking carefully. If the place you are visiting has free parking, then this isn’t a problem. If not, search out the best place to park in advance. Some London car parks charge extortionate fees, while others are more reasonable – the Tower Hill car park, for example, charges just £2.50 all day on Saturdays.