Student Advice – Travelling in London

London has arguably the best integrated transport network system in the UK, including a tram, tube and bus system. So travelling across the city is simple.

For students getting to University the bus or the tube is the best option.

Getting in and out of London is just as easy, with a multitude of major train stations connecting students to their hometowns across the country.

Buses and Trams

The London transport system is one of the countries best. There are a huge amount of buses driving through the streets of London at all times of day.

London’s night buses are great for students as it means getting home from the club at any time of the night.

The trams and buses will take you pretty much anywhere you want in London but if you are unsure then you should plan your route to university of wherever you may be going by using the London bus journey planner.

There are a lot of different ways in which you can pay for your journey on the London bus system. The first huge tip is to get yourself an Oyster card. They can allow you to get money off all types of transport within London.

Alternatively, if you are planning to use the buses and trams almost every day throughout the year then you could buy a year pass for  around £500. This may sound expensive but in the long run it could save you a lot of money (if you take 2 or more journeys a day).

The price of single ticket depends on whether you have an Oyster card or not. You’re looking at around £1.40 with and £2.40 without and Oyster card. To pay by Oyster card you need to regularly top it up because if you do not have enough on your card then you will have to pay by cash.

For long-distance travel by coach or bus, many students choose to take the Megabus (budget) or National Express.

Cycling

London has an enormous network for cyclists. Cycle lanes are available on all the major roads in and around London.

However, you do need to be careful as in some parts the cycle lane will run along the busy bus route. Just remember to be on your guard, check your brakes and wear a helmet! Unfortunately, London has a pretty bad reputation for bike theft so it’s also wise to invest in a decent D-lock.

If you do not want to buy a bike then it could be worth looking into the new cycle hire scheme. It allows you to pick up a bike at a designated point and then ride it to another stopping point for as little as £1 a day for non-members and 16p a day with an annual pass.

If you’re looking online, you can get a good deal on a bike delivered to your door from Hargroves Cycles.

Trains and the Tube

London has a vast network of tube stations and overground railways. There are 9 zones which you can travel in and the cost depends on which zones you plan to travel in. If you want to plan a journey then take a look at Transport for London’s journey planner.

As with the buses it is definitely suggested that you apply for a Student Oyster card as it will save you a lot of money. It could save you over  £2 on a single fair. Depending on which zones you are travelling in a ticket will cost around £1.90-£6 (with a pre topped up Oyster card).

You can also buy passes for longer periods of time with a 1 week pass ranging from £20-£50 depending on the zones. A month will set you back around £75-£190 and a year pass is £773-£2000. Once again, although these seem like very high prices, they will save you a lot in the long run.

There are lots overground stations in London (Euston, Victoria and Charing Cross to name a few). They are connected to all the major cities across the UK with Euston offering a high-speed service to Manchester and St. Pancreas even has links to Paris. If you can, make sure you book your train ticket in advance online for big savings at First Trans Pennine Express.

For up-to-date information about public transport in London, have a look at the Transport for London website.