Laurence Andrews


My daily commute is long. It’s also very expensive. I’m not sure which should be more important to me, time or money.

I currently get the train.

I leave home at 07:15 and take the 07:41 Southeastern High Speed service from Strood to St Pancras International arriving 08:16, I then walk to the Metropolitan line and usually arrive at Baker Street station about 08:30. It then takes me 15 mins to walk to the office arriving at my desk at about 08:45. A total journey time of 1 hour and 30 mins. On the way home I leave the office at 17:15 and (rush) to get the St Pancras 17:46 service to Strood for 18:19, I’m then home by about 18:40.

So my daily commute is just shy of 3 hours. Door to desk.

It’s very expensive. My train ticket is £5,376. Parking at Strood is £2.50 a day which multiplied by 223 working days is £557 annually. Driving is difficult to calculate but we’ll base it on an 8 mile daily round trip x 45 pence ( which is £802 annually.

Totalling a whopping £6,735.

Should I get the coach?

The coach will take longer, but it involves a lot less fannying around changing to a different mode of transport or waiting.

Per my calculation: if I caught the 06:25 coach service from basically outside my flat I would arrive in London Victoria by 08:01. I would then take the number 2 bus from Victoria which stops just outside my office around 08:25. Total journey time of 2 hours. On the way home I would leave the office at 17:00 and take the bus back to Victoria arriving in time enough to take the 17:41 coach back home which drops me off at about 19:09. Total journey time of 2 hours and 9 mins. Reliability concerns me, since it’s very unregulated.

My daily commute would be 4 hours and about 10 mins. Door to desk.

It’s less expensive. Coach ticket will be £2,700. A Zone 1 travel card will be £1,216.

Totalling a less painful £3,916.

The Difference?

So the difference is 1 hour and 10 mins more daily for an annual saving of £2,819. Sure is tempting, that’s a damn good holiday right there.

I think I’ll need to give the coach a few dry runs and see if it’s worthwhile.

commute  london