Living in London: Why You Should Leave Your Car at Home

London car

Chances are you would have heard this famous quote by Dr. Samuel Johnson– “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life”, at least once in your life. I, personally, am not tired of London as a whole, however I am more than exhausted with the traffic on the roads. When I go on holiday, is it sad that I look forward to not being confined to a car just as much as I am to be relaxing on a beach?

In recent times, measures have been taken by the government to ease traffic, or reduce the attractiveness of using personal vehicles on the roads of London; think congestion charging and cycling lanes being created from what were once lanes for motor vehicles. There are many reasons for Londoners to ditch their cars in favour of more environmentally and health friendly modes of transportation, and I have listed a few below.


Air quality is deteriorating

Lung disease is one of the biggest killers around the world, and it is no exception in London. Although the EU has strict rules and penalties for high levels of air pollution, this still doesn’t stop the air quality in certain areas being unacceptably high. While there are higher taxes on the most polluting vehicles, reducing the number of motor vehicles on the roads by using increasing public transportation use or walking or cycling more can go a long way to improving this.


London has one of the best public transportation systems in the world

It’s not perfect, but you can’t deny that many areas are highly accessible compared to even many other developed countries. The underground network is one of the largest (and the oldest) in the world, and is ever expanding. London is famous for its red double decker buses, with much larger capacity than single level buses, and these service many areas that trains don’t.


Walking is convenient

Have you ever tried to park your car in central London during the day? Not only is it difficult and time consuming, but if you do find one, it definitely isn’t cheap. Walking on the other hand is free; is great exercise and can even take the same amount of time if you consider the time you spend looking for parking. Just remember to carry a compact raincoat for men or women, as the weather can be fickle!


The price of running a car is high

A combination of increasing insurance and petrol prices, as well as the aforementioned congestion charge, parking fees, and parking fines, mean that using a car in London is not cheap. While all of these are the direct financial implications of using a car, how much is your time worth if you spend much of it stuck in traffic? If you begin to consider this, using a car in such a well connected city begins to look even less appealing!