Monday, 17 October 2011

England through the eyes of an American - Public Transport

When I was living back home I could hardly bear the idea of walking anywhere and in the small town I came from we had no kind of Public Transport. Everyone ad a car even if it was an old clunker at least you had one. Last time I was home I needed to "nip" (another very British word) out to the shops. There is a corner petrol station just 1/2 a mile from my moms house. I expressed how I was going to walk up to the shop and you should have seen the surprise on my mom and sisters faces. It was kind of like what? How dare you! Walking is what teenagers do before they get their driving license or if they get in trouble. Its a punishment.

Things in England are so very different. We have quiet a few modes of Transportation.

Lets start with the Bus:

The buses in England are so regular. You can get almost anywhere on a bus. Our car broke at the beginning of June and at first I thought Oh. My. Word. What am I going to do. But I sorted out the bus timetables and have been going anywhere I need to on the bus when I can.

Buses are pretty cheap. I can get a Local Day Saver which allows me to travel anywhere in my county all day for only £3.80. Not to bad huh!

Next The Train:

If you need for any reason to go on a long journey there is always the option of the train. It is very reasonable if you look on places like I can normally get a single (One Way) to London for about £9.00 of course I am not allowed to travel during peak times which are weekdays between 6 am and 10 am and then again from 3:30 pm and 6:30pm. During those times I can expect to pay well over £120 round trip. But it is very reasonable the other times.

The Tube or Underground in London or the Metro in Manchester (AKA Subway):

This is again another cheap form of transportation normally we add this onto our train ticket. In fact often you can get an bus/tube/train ticket for really reasonable. These run all day at very regular intervals.


There are Taxis everywhere here. No not the typical yellow cabs you see in towns like NY just normal cars which are now taxis or hackney cabs. They are a good way to get somewhere quick or if you have a lot of things to take with you. Taxis can get expensive but again at times are worth it.

The last form of transportation is not a form of any kind it is merely walking or bike riding. It always amazed me when I first got here how many people walk. You can see someone walking on most streets almost all the time. Not having a car for the past 4 months I have really grown to love walking everywhere. I have been having to take the children to school and back 3 times a day and it is 2 miles each way. But not once have I felt embarrassed about walking in fact there are probably more children who walk to school than who don't. Plus if there is one thing you should know about me its that I love to look people in the eye and smile or say hello. And this has been so much fun while walking to and from school. Never mind the fantastic exercise I have been getting.

So there you go if you ever decide to come and visit you now know the most common modes of transportation here in England.

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