Where To Stake Your Claim On The Commuter Belt For Comfortable Travel Into London
Anyone who has had to commute into London for work will know the joys that it brings; delayed and cancelled services, dubious smelling co-passengers and, spending the entire journey with your head in somebody’s armpit due to a lack of available seats. Sadly, it seems that over-crowded commuter services aren’t going anywhere any time soon but, where you live can make a huge difference to the comfort of your journey. We’ve put together the following guide to the best commuter towns to live in to guarantee a seat into London.
Nestled between Luton and Milton Keynes in Bedfordshire, Leighton Buzzard is an increasingly popular commuter town - particularly among those with young children. Small and surrounded by lush countryside, Leighton Buzzard town centre offers modern shopping centres, great restaurants and lively pubs and restaurants. Direct trains between Leighton Buzzard and London Euston take just 45 minutes with no stops inbetween, meaning that most passengers are able to get a seat on the service.
A market town in the Chiltern district of Buckinghamshire, Amersham is the perfect combination of quaint and modern with great shopping, olde worlde pubs and lovely riverside walks. Amersham also has the advantage of being on the Metropolitan line of London Underground - as Amersham is the first stop, getting a seat in the morning is a piece of cake; although you may have to wait until Wembley or Harrow to get a seat on the way back. The journey between Amersham and Marylebone takes just one hour.
Close to the River Mole, Esher is a small town in Surrey, flanked by commons and countryside. Only 30 minutes by train to Waterloo, Esher offers a peaceful village atmosphere whilst maintaining close proximity to the Capital. Due to its size and relatively middle to upper class residents, trains into London tend to be civilised and less crowded than many.
Gillingham in Kent is a Medway town which shares dockyards with neighbouring Chatham. Larger than many commuter towns, Gillingham features great shopping and leisure facilities and a lively nightlife. Beyond the dockyards is an ancient Georgian fortification system of moats and ramparts known as the Brompton Lines. Gillingham is become more and more popular as a commuter town due to its incredibly low property prices - small terraced houses in the town centre can be picked up for as little as £110,000. Although Gillingham’s star is in the ascent, it’s still not as busy a commuter town as others, meaning that the 49 minute train journey into London is usually much less crowded than others.
Perched on the River Thames, Purfleet in Essex is just 33 minutes from London by train.
Known by its reputation as a scenic historical port town and, also, as being home to one of Count Dracula’s estates in the famous novel, Purfleet is a picturesque town with great amenities - including the famous Lakeside Shopping Centre nearby.
Although lower than those in London, property prices in Purfleet are relatively high compared with other commuter towns - resulting in less overcrowding on the trains in and out of London, which is great news for commuters.
…...And, where not to live
A report has shown that a 7.16am Southern Rail service travelling from East Grinstead to London Bridge will typically see 1,366 passengers alight at London Bridge……..from a train with only 640 seats available.
A pretty town in Mid Sussex, East Grinstead is popular for its relative proximity to the seaside and it’s quaint village atmosphere. A great place to live - as long as you don’t mind standing during the one hour twenty three minute journey into London!