Travelling for work between business offices or clients premises, whether as part of a regular commute or for more ad hoc travel, is a huge worldwide issue. There are more people travelling for work than ever before and the well-used M4 route between Bristol and London is no exception.
With a distance of around 125 miles, there are several ways that an individual can travel between Bristol and London and finding the right one isn’t always as clear cut as you might think.
So what is the best mode of travel?
In this post we will look at different modes of transport for business travellers to get from Bristol to London, we will outline some of the pros and cons of each, in particular when it comes to price, ease and productivity of the journey.
Trains are widely available and can be one of the best ways to get around. With the majority of the South West’s towns and cities serviced by at least one train line it seems to be a logical choice to take the train to work whether on a regular commute or for ad hoc business journeys.
The average time a traveller will spend using the train and connecting services from Bristol to London is approximately 2 hours and 17 minutes from door-to-door each way although this will certainly reduce when the work on the high speed network is completed.
Although this time could be utilised for work and so seems like it adds to productivity you only have to experience how busy trains are, especially at peak times, to see how impractical trying to work on a crowded train can be – and do you really want other rail users listening in to your conversations with your colleagues or worse still peering over your shoulder and nosing at the screen on your laptop?
The ability to sit and read as the countryside passes you by, walk around, work, sleep or eat on a train can certainly be a plus, you can never fully rely on the rail service being on time or reliable and whilst much has been said over the years about the reliability (or lack of it) of train services, when issues do arise they tend to be severe and totally out of the control of the traveller.
When looking at cost, travelling by train can be sometimes reasonable if you utilise the various deals available, have the time to research the different providers, can arrange advance ticket purchase and restrict yourself to specific trains. If you need last minute, peak time travel, flexibility over times and there are more than one of you in the party the bill to travel can seriously stack up.
On the Buses!
The National Express and Mega Bus are two of the main providers that have regular routes into London from Bristol, often providing direct routes starting from the early hours of the morning.
The average time of the journey between Bristol and London bus stations will take between 2 ½ and 3 hours, assuming no hold ups in traffic, making this definitely a longer journey if you were to compare it to the train service.
Whilst the stress of actually driving is taken away from the traveller the internal coach layout and on-board facilities are not generally conducive to productive work during the journey so the time spent travelling is very much wasted. Buses and coaches are therefore more likely to be used for leisure journeys rather than business travel.
In terms of reliability, the Bus and Coach services operate a fairly regular and robust service but the travellers’ journey is always at the mercy of traffic on a dedicated route and subject to drivers’ hours and rest stops. Once in London, as with the train, you will need to factor in the onward journey to your final destination from the bus or train station.
The appeal with these services is definitely that of cost: you can purchase a return bus or coach ticket online for as little as £5.50. For that reason the national coach services are generally favoured by low income families, students and older travellers where naturally low cost to travel is key.
Up, up and away!
There are airline carriers that fly between Bristol and London however none appear to be direct. With a watchful eye and prior research you are able to get some great last-minute rates, having said that, flying to London from Bristol is not only lavish and the most extravagant mode of travel, it also takes the longest duration, due to flight stop-overs.
After looking at many airline providers with routes to London from Bristol, the cheapest price you will find are around £300 for a return ticket.
Add to this the stress of lengthy airport security checks and time wasted waiting for the plane then it really isn’t a serious option for most. Of course, a private jet certainly gives you the flexibility and stress free travel (http://www.centrelineair.co.uk/) but at what price?
On your bike!
A significant rise in the sale of motorbikes and scooters has occurred over the past 18 months. More and more workers are convinced that 2 wheels are better than 4 when it comes to commuting or travelling for business.
In terms of cost, travelling by motorbike will be significantly cheaper than the price of the train and with the Red Route bus lanes in London available to two wheeled transport, lengthy traffic jams and congestion are more easily avoided.
However, when you factor in the difficulty of locating dedicated bike parking in the city (which isn’t rammed to capacity), accepting the risk of riding a motorbike in London traffic, grappling with the great British weather, plus the strapping down of luggage, briefcases and laptops and it can start to seriously outweigh the cost benefits for many.
Taking the car
For a large number of business people, when it comes to travelling for work their first thought is to take their own car. In many instances they feel it gives them more control over their journey e.g when they elect to leave home and on the route they choose to take and often they perceive it to be considerably cheaper than some of the alternatives (particularly when fuel and or mileage is being covered by the company).
What they fail to consider however are the many downsides: finding and paying for parking and remembering to pay congestion zone charges, the lost productivity during the journey, traffic queues, let alone the stress of motorway driving and running the gauntlet of London traffic.
According to this article from University of East Anglia’s Norwich Medical School, long periods of driving can have an impact on a drivers’ cognitive ability which isn’t exactly the right frame of mind to arrive in for an important business meeting.
When you look at it in more detail it seems that the main disadvantages to travelling by car don’t relate to the mode of transport but are actually more linked with the act of driving.
Imagine relaxing in the comfort of an executive chauffeured car, having just stepped in direct from your home, safe in the knowledge that the next stop is the front door of where you need to be.
No need for you to battle traffic or congestion, or wait hours for delayed trains on cold platforms. Configuring and dealing with the continued failure of public transport Wi-Fi and bad signal is a distant memory leaving you free to relax or work in a quiet and stress free environment.
When you arrive in London you don’t have to be concerned about lugging around suitcases and laptops from platforms to tubes, you will simply be taken to your destination prepared and ready for work. Once finished, you can call your chauffeur to advise you are ready to be collected from the door and be driven effortlessly home or onto your selected hotel.
Using the services of a business chauffeur means you can say goodbye to all of the frustrations and stresses that are associated with driving yourself at an extremely cost-effective solution.
In today’s busy world, with a range of travel options available to the modern business traveller, it can be a difficult choice to make. Hopefully we’ve helped to give you some things to consider to make the right choice for you.
If you would like to find out more about how we can provide you with a cost effective and stress free solution, read about our services in more detail here. Or give the team at Rapid Exec a call on 0117 9000709