The Most Eco-Friendly Transport Options in London
Keeping London clean and green is a cause that benefits everyone. Studies have shown that an improvement in inner-city air quality can lead to remarkable results – not just the reduction of physical illness but significant mental health benefits as well.
There are plenty of great choices and ambitious long-term projects in place when it comes to environmentally friendly travelling around London. For the third instalment in our Travel Green series, we’ve done some research and compared the effectiveness and price of each option.
Walking and cycling
Of course, the best energy source for transport is the power generated from your own two feet. Walking from A to B is not only environmentally friendly but healthy and often thoroughly rewarding. Two years ago TfL set in motion a Walking Action Plan that aimed to increase the number of daily walking trips in the capital by over one million by 2024.
For those longer, more time-pressured journeys, cycling can be an ideal upgrade. Bike rental is a booming market, and with TfL’s Santander Cycles you can enjoy 24-hour access for just £2. Every journey under half an hour is free, and you pay an extra £2 for every extra 30 minutes of each journey. And whilst the main roads can certainly be an intimidating place to cycle, TfL are committed to building 450km of dedicated cycleways by 2024.
However, there are many reasons why walking and cycling may not be the most preferred or even feasible modes of transport in the city. These include, but are not limited to, weather dependency, physical demand, and, in the case of cycling, off-putting safety statistics.
Meanwhile many metres below the pavement, London Underground has set out an ambitious pledge to become carbon neutral by 2050. TfL plan to connect the tube to an exclusive carbon neutral wind farm outside of London, and also make use of the thermal energy emitted within the tunnels, which currently goes to waste.
Even without these changes in place, the tube still stands as one of the eco-friendliest modes of transport in London. And given how many people fit into each carriage, the carbon footprint per head is near-insignificant.
Best private travel option
For those looking for a greener alternative to Uber or black cabs, we recommend a company called Green Tomato cars. They use exclusively low or zero-emissions taxis, and engage in a substantial carbon offsetting project in Uganda as well. Their app is also easy to use, with an identical mobile booking platform to Uber in addition to very similar prices. On top of all of this, they make a special effort with local communities as well, planting 200 trees a year in London parks and partnering with a new charity each year.
Most cost-efficient green transport in London
Although bus charges are often the cheapest, here’s a little known tip: all contactless tube journeys between zones 2 and 6 cost the same as the bus fare on weekdays before 6:30am, between 9:30am and 3:59pm, and after 7pm. Travel at other times, and through zone 1, is just 90p extra per trip.
If you’re looking to travel green in London, Manchester or Brighton, Supercity’s aparthotels are the ideal places to stay. We’re constantly evolving our luxury suites to make them as eco-friendly as possible without sacrificing an inch of quality. Check out our unbeatable locations now.