Wednesday, September 05, 2007

London by Leg

The last few days in London have been blighted by Tube strikes, due to the failure of cowboys PFI contractors Metronet. One of the presenters of Radio 4's Today Program was more than usually snippy about the notion of walking to work in London.

I guess if you have to arrive in time for a 6am broadcast you might never have walked to work - but there's something satisfying, and very pleasant about walking in, even when the Tube is running. It's certainly more fun than the mobile sardine-tin that is the Northern Line at peak hours. DH and I used to walk to and from work, in Bloomsbury, from our home in Elephant and Castle - a journey that more or less spans the whole of Zone One. It gave me time to ponder the day ahead/just gone and included a very pleasant five minutes (yes really, five whole minutes) crossing Waterloo Bridge. Even to this day DH tends to walk to work at Old Street.

It's free exercise, valuable thinking time and saves a lot of carbon compared to car or taxi. The charity Living Streets is trying to make walking as pleasant and easy as possible. As well as their own initiatives, they've linked to this alternative Tube map showing average walking times between Tube stations, created by students from Central Saint Martin's. For point-to-point walking maps, together with time, calories and carbon saving data, Walk It is also excellent.

Did you know?

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