London is a fantastic place to spend some free time. The historical London Underground, also known as the tube, offers versatile and quick way of traveling. But there are also other options. If you prefer sightseeing and you are not in a hurry it is good idea to take a bus. You can save some money by buying a travel card that allows you to travel as much as you like in fixed price.
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Transport is one of the four areas of policy administered by the Mayor of London. However the mayor's financial control is limited and he does not control the heavy rail network (except for the North London Railway). The public transport network, administered by Transport for London (TfL), is the most extensive in the world, but faces congestion and reliability issues, which a large investment programme is attempting to address, including £7 billion (€10 billion) of improvements planned for the Olympics. London was recently awarded the city with the best public transport.
The centrepiece of the transport network is the London Underground, commonly referred to as The Tube, with sixteen interconnecting lines, and plans for expansion — especially deeper into South London, and at least one new line. It is the oldest, largest, and most expensive metro system in the world, dating from 1863. The system was home to the world's first underground electric line, the City & South London Railway, which began service in 1890. Over three million journeys a day are made on the Underground network, around nearly 1 billion journeys are made each year. The Underground serves the central area and most suburbs to the north of the Thames, whilst those to the south are served by an extensive suburban rail overland network. The Docklands Light Railway is a second metro system using smaller and lighter trains, which opened in 1987, serves East London and Greenwich on both sides of the Thames. Commuter and intercity railways generally do not cross the city, instead running into fourteen terminal stations scattered around its historic centre. Since the early 1990s, increasing pressures on the commuter rail and Underground networks have led to increasing demands, particularly from businesses and the City of London Corporation, for Crossrail - a £10 billion east-west heavy rail connection under central London. Eurostar trains link London Waterloo station with Lille and Paris in France, and Brussels in Belgium, in two to three hours, making London closer to continental Europe than the rest of Britain and tying it into the Euro-core.
The London bus network is a twenty four hour service and caters for most local journeys, carrying even more passengers than the Underground. Every weekday, the London bus network carries 6 million passengers on over 700 different routes. In the year to March 2005, the network's ridership was 1.79 billion passenger trips. The buses are internationally recognised, and are a trademark of London transport along with black cabs and the tube.
Although the majority of journeys involving central London are made by public transport, travel in outer London is car-dominated. The inner ring road (around the city centre), the North and South Circular roads (in the suburbs) and an orbital motorway (the M25, outside the built-up area) encircle the city and are intersected by a number of busy radial routes — but very few motorways penetrate into inner London. A plan for a comprehensive network of motorways throughout the city (the Ringways Plan) was prepared in the 1960s but was mostly cancelled in the early 1970s. In 2003, a congestion charge was introduced to reduce traffic volumes in the city centre. With a few exceptions, motorists are required to pay £8 per day to drive within a defined zone encompassing much of congested central London. Motorists who are residents of the defined zone can buy a vastly reduced season pass which is renewed monthly and is cheaper than a corresponding bus fare.
When you visit London you should try visiting some local pubs. Good place to start is a pub called Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese. It has unique historical feeling in it. You can reach it easily by going to the nearest metro station (Chancery Lane). Other good pub worth visiting in the same area is Cittie of Yorke.
One well known and old pub that you should try is The George Inn. If you are visiting landmark places like Tate Modern or London Bridge The George Inn is in the same area. Another good pub idea in the same are is The Anchor. If you are going to Leicester Square try Lamb & Flag pub. It is quite small and cosy.
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