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Lines of communication and transport in London

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Paddington (Paddington, one of the 14 stations in London, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Paddington_Station_rush_hour.jpg)

Transport is one of the four areas of competence of the Mayor of London although its financial control is quite limited and it has no control over the rail network (but the North London Railway is under his responsibility since November 2007). The public transport network run by Transport for London (TfL), is one of the largest in the world but suffers daily traffic jams, delays and maintenance problems. A £ 7 billion program was set up to try to improve the network by 2012, for the inauguration of the Olympic Games. Despite a higher cost of Europe, the entire London network, however, was declared best transportation system in the world (ahead of New York and Paris) by 25% of 2000 respondents to a survey conducted by TripAdvisor.

Rail transport

London Underground

Angel Station on the Northern Line (Angel Station on the Northern Line, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Train_arriving_at_Angel_underground_station_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1522074.jpg)

The centerpiece of the British capital’s transportation network is the London Underground, Underground or London Tube familiarly called The Tube, made up of 274 stations and 16 lines interconnected with a total length of 408 km. There are many extensions of projects, particularly south of the city, and even the construction of a new line of Wimbledon in Epping, who has as original name Chelsea-Hackney Line. Inaugurated in 1863, this is the oldest network in the world. It even features the first electric underground line, the City & South London Railway, commissioned in 1890. Three million journeys per day, or about a billion a year, are performed on the entire subway network, which mainly serves the historic center of London and the suburbs of the city north of the Thames but extends to beyond the boundaries of Greater London. Due to the nature of the soil, the southern and south-east suburbs are least served by the metro but have a major commuter rail network. The Docklands Light Railway, opened in 1987, is serving East London and Greenwich on both banks of the Thames.

Suburban trains

Commuter trains generally do not cross the city but stop in a 14 city stations located around the historic center. Crossrail is a regional express network project expected to start in 2018 and will connect the east and west suburbs across London in an underground. A city train, the Overground, entered service in November 2007. The Eurostar train service is linking the station St Pancras to Lille and Paris (France), through the Eurotunnel, in 1 h 20 and 2 h 15 respectively, Brussels (Belgium) in 1 h 50, but also, since 2015, Lyon in just under 6 hours and 7 hours for Avignon and Marseille in 7h30. There are also tram reintegration projects in central London.

Truck transport

Decker Bus (Decker Bus in London)

Although the vast majority of transport from the heart of London is carried out in public transport, the use of the cars dominates in the suburbs. The London Inner Ring Road (peripheral area located around the center of London), the A406 and A205 roads (in the suburbs) and the M25 (farthest) bypass the city and connect the many paths going towards the city center of London (Inner London). A project of highways crisscrossing the metropolitan area (called London Ringways) was launched in 1962 but was largely abandoned in the early 1970 to 1971 because of the objections of residents and high costs. In 2003, a congestion charge was introduced in order to reduce traffic in the city center. With few exceptions, motorists must pay 8 pounds a day to get inside an area corresponding to central London. Motorists living in the end zone pay 10%, is payable for 5 days for 4 £ or  £ 16 for four weeks.

Black Cab (Black Cab, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:London_Taxi_1.jpg)

Most bus lines of the London network operate during the day and evening. Some lines even work 24 hours 24. The bus is the means of transport used mainly for local trips and carries more passengers than the Metro. Each weekday, London buses carry 6 million passengers on over 700 different routes. The number of trips has atteint 1,8 billion in 2005/2006. Imperial red buses are a symbol of London as well as black cabs and subways.

London, to support its eradication car policy, invests heavily in cycling individual transport. Thus in 2006 London has invested € 38 million in bike lanes and bike parking.

Air transport

London is also a global airline correspondence platform. There are no less than 150 million passengers in one of the eight airports that contain “London Airport” in their name but virtually all international traffic passes through the 6 major airports (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, London City and London Southend). Heathrow Airport is the largest in the world by number of international passengers and offers a full range of domestic flights, European and intercontinental. An important part of international traffic and number of cheap flights airlines are supported by Gatwick Airport. The airports of Stansted and Luton are specialized in short-haul flights of low cost airlines. The London City Airport, the smallest and closest to London, is rather, by its proximity to financial centers of the capital, specializing in private flights and hosts short-haul flights and a significant traffic of private jets. London Southend Airport is the newcomer to the choice for travelers.

River transport

tourist boat on the Thames (A tourist boat on the Thames)

The Thames is used by tourist boats and water buses. Services are provided by London River Services.

Shuttle from the Thames to the Houses of Parliament and its tower "Big Ben" (Shuttle from the Thames to the Houses of Parliament and its tower “Big Ben”, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bateau_navette_Londres.jpg)

The main piers are:

  • Putney Pier ;
  • Chelsea Harbour Pier ;
  • Millbank Millennium Pier ;
  • Westminster Millennium Pier ;
  • London Eye Pier ;
  • Festival Pier ;
  • Embankment Millennium Pier ;
  • Blackfriars Millennium Pier ;
  • London Bridge City Pier ;
  • Bankside Pier ;
  • Tower Pier ;
  • Saint Katherine’s Pier ;
  • Canary Wharf Pier ;
  • Greenwich Pier.

Translated from Wikipedia

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