Underground -Travel Information on getting around London
Your Journey Using
London's Metropolitan Line, which opened in 1863, was the world's
first underground railway. Today the London Underground,
popularly known as the 'Tube', is the largest urban transport
system in Europe. Though short distances in London are
best covered on foot, most other journeys in London are quicker
by Tube. Also, unlike taking the bus, you can't get lost
on the Tube!
London Underground Map, designed by Harry Beck in 1933, is
one of the most recognised designs in the world. Now
called the 'Journey Planner', it shows London's 12 colour-coded
Underground lines and is displayed at all Tube stations. Trips
involving changes of train can be easily worked out using
this simple to follow map.
run: Underground trains run every day, except Christmas
Day, from around 5.30 am until just after midnight.
Avoid the 'Rush Hour' between about 8.00 am - 9.30 am and
4.30 pm - 6.30 pm when the trains and stations are crowded.
Check the time of the last train if you are leaving after
11.30 pm as the only all-night public transport service
are Night Buses. On Sundays, trains start two hours
later and there is a more limited service.
The Underground system is showing
its age and delays occur frequently. Escalators are
sometimes out of action and engineering works mean some stations,
or even whole lines, being closed, especially at weekends.
Crime is not a serious problem on the Tube but travellers
are advised to beware of pickpockets and to avoid travelling
in an empty carriage. It can sometimes be unpleasant
travelling on the Tube late at night. Smoking is illegal
anywhere on the Underground system.
Docklands Light Railway (DLR) is administered as part
of the Underground system. These driver-less trains,
running on a raised track, are a good way to see London are
very popular with tourists. The DLR operates from 5.30
am to around 12.30 am Monday to Friday, 6.00 am - 12.30 am
on Saturdays and 7.30 am - 11.30 pm on Sundays.
Maps and information about the
Underground system, Buses and the Docklands Light Railway
(DLR) can be obtained from the Travel Information Centres
run by Transport for London, formerly London Transport, at
Euston Station, Heathrow Aiport (Terminals 1, 2 and 3 Underground
station and Terminal 4 Arrivals Hall), King's Cross Underground
Station, Liverpool Street Station, Victoria Station and Waterloo
Eurostar Arrivals Hall. Information can also be obtained
by telephoning (020) 7222 1234 or online at www.londontransport.co.uk
Underground fares are based on
a zone system. The Journey Planner clearly marks out
London's 6 zones. The city centre is Zone I and from
here the zones radiate out to Zone 6, which lies 12 miles
from the centre. Use the Journey Planner to decide which
route you wish to take and work out the zones you will travel
through on your journey. Make sure your ticket covers
all these zones. If you exit at a station beyond the
zone to which you have paid to travel you are liable to a
£10 penalty fare.
Make sure you
have paid for the journey before you travel. On-the-spot
£10 penalty fares are payable if you are caught travelling
without a valid ticket or Travelcard.
Single and Return
These can be purchased at Underground
stations from self-service machines or from the ticket office.
Self-service machines usually accept coins and notes,
and give change, and most stations now have self-service machines
that take credit/debit cards. Using a ticket machine
is much faster than queuing for the ticket office, but staff
at ticket offices can provide information and assistance but
rarely speak foreign languages.
Children under 5 years old travel
free and under 16s pay a child's fare. All 14 - 15 year olds
must carry a Child-Rate Photocard to get tickets at child
Buying individual tickets is
the most expensive way of getting around on the Tube and if
are going to make several Tube journeys in one day buy a Travelcard.
Travelcards are valid on the
Underground system, buses, National Rail services, Docklands
Light Railway and some Green Line buses. Travelcards
can be purchased at all Tube and Rail stations as well as
appointed newsagents displaying the red "pass agent"
Short-term visitors to London
will find the Day or One-Week Travelcards best but monthly
and yearly Travelcards are available.
can be used after 9.30 am on weekdays and all day at the weekends
and public holidays. You can but these for Zones 1 -
2, Zones 1 - 3, Zones 1 - 4, Zones 1 - 5, Zones 1 -
6 and Zones 2 - 6. An unlimited number of journeys can
be made within the Zones chosen. The Day Travelcard
is now valid until 04:.30 the next day and can be used on
night buses, prefixed with an N.
Family Travelcards are
available to families or groups of one or two adults travelling
with one to four children. These have the same conditions
as regular Day Travelcards, see above..
are worth buying if you intend to travel on consecutive weekend
days or public holidays. These can be used all day and
have the same conditions as regular Day Travelcards but do
not cover the N-prefixed night buses.
provide unlimited journeys throughout the selected
zones for seven days. They are valid around the clock
(including peak times) and include use of the N-prefixed night
buses. One-Week Travelcards can be purchased for
Zone 1 only, Zones 1 - 2, Zones 1 - 3, Zones 1 - 4, Zones
1 - 5 and for all Zones.
One day LT Cards
One-Day LT Cards are if you want
to travel at peak time, before 09:30, and make several journeys
in one day. These can be purchased,
without a Photocard, from the self-service machines and ticket
offices at underground stations and from appointed newsagents.
One-Day LT Cards are valid on underground services (except
for trains running to and from Bakerloo stations north of
Queen's Park - this stretch of the line is not run by Transport
for London), buses (including night buses) and Docklands Light
Railway (DLR) but not on National Rail services or airbuses.
Carnet tickets are useful for
if you are intending to make a lot of short-hop Underground
journeys in Zone 1 over a period of several days. These
are books of 10 tickets which work out cheaper than buying
ordinary single tickets in Zone 1. Carnet tickets are
available from self-service machines and ticket offices at
Tube stations, as well as appointed newsagents. Travellers
using a carnet tickets should be aware that a £10 penalty
fare is liable if they exit from a station outside Zone 1.
A Photocard is needed for the
purchase of any Travelcard except the Day and Weekend versions.
To get a Photocard take a passport-size photograph to any
post office or Underground station Ticket Office. A
Child-Rate Photocard is required for children between 5 -
15 to use Child-Rate Travelcards. To prove their age
children must take either their birth certificate or passport.
The 'Journey Planner' shows the
12 colour-coded Underground lines, plus Docklands Light Railway
(DLR) and Silverlink (National Rail). A Journey Planner
is displayed near the ticket office at every station and on
all platforms. Maps of the central section are displayed
in train carriages. Some lines, such as the Victoria
and Jubilee Lines, are simple single-branch routes; others
such as the Northern Line have more than one branch.
The Circle Line forms one continuous loop around Central London.
The map shows the intersection between the Underground
lines and connections with National Rail (overground) lines.
1 Once you have purchased
your ticket or Travelcard you can use it to open a ticket
barrier to gain access to the platforms.
Insert your ticket or Travelcard,
with the black magnetic strip facing downwards, into the slot
at the front of the ticket barrier. As soon as your
ticket emerges at the top pull it out and the barrier will
open. Keep your ticket safe as you must always have
a valid ticket with you. You may also need your ticket
to open barriers if you change lines and you will need it
to open the ticket barrier at your destination.
2 Once through the barrier,
follow the colour-coded directions to the Underground line you
wish to travel use. When you reach the correct Underground
line check the list of stations to ensure you chose the right
platform for the direction in which you wish to travel.
3 Most platforms have electronic
indicator boards that display the destination of the next
trains and the length of time you will have to wait before
they arrive. Several different lines may use the same
platform so be careful to check the line and the destination
before boarding, the trains often have their destination on
the front. On some trains all the doors automatically
open but others have illuminated 'Open' buttons which must
be pressed to open the doors.
4 Once you have boarded
the train check the progress of your journey using the line
charts displayed in every carriage. Maps of the central
section of the Tube are also shown. Each station is
clearly marked with its name along the length of its walls.
5 When the train reaches
the station where you wish to alight the doors may automatically
open or you may have open them yourself by pressing the 'open'
button that is beside the doors once it is lit up.
6 Once on the platform
check the overhead signs giving directions to the exits or
to the platforms of connecting lines.
7 When you reach your final
destination your ticket will be retained by the barrier as
you pass through, unless you have a Travelcard
If you loose something on London
Underground allow three full working days from the time of
loss before going to the Transport for London 'Lost Property
Office', which is at 200 Baker Street, Marylebone, London
NW1 5RZ. This is open: Mon-Frii 09:30- 14:00 pm
, telephone 020 7486 5496 for recorded information.