ON THE GO
Traveling by plane
According to internetsailors, British Airways (BA) flies several times a day to Belfast, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester, among others. The following airlines also offer flights within the UK: KLM Cityhopper (WA), flybe (BE) (www.flybe.com), easyJet (EZY) (www.easyjet.com) and Ryanair (FR) (www.ryanair.com).
Note on air travel
British Airways: As of April 25, 2006, passengers on all UK domestic flights have been required to check-in online or at a machine at the airport. Checking in at the counter is no longer possible.
London – Aberdeen: 1 hour 25; London – Belfast: 1 hr 05; London – Edinburgh: 1 hour 20; London – Glasgow: 1h15; London – Birmingham: 50 minutes; London – Jersey: 55 min; London – Manchester: 50 min; London – Newcastle: 1 hour 05.
On the way by car / bus
Long-distance bus: There is a bus station in every major city. Victoria Coach Station, the main bus station for long-distance buses in London, is approximately 1 km from Victoria Station.
National Express (Internet: www.nationalexpress.com) is the largest long-distance bus company, almost all cities are served. Almost all coaches are equipped with toilets and usually travel companions go with them. Small refreshments are also available and videos are shown on some routes. Bus travel in Great Britain is i. General cheaper than train travel, but takes longer. Private coaches can be rented in advance by groups. The most famous holiday resorts have parking spaces for coaches. With frequent use of National Express buses, the Brit XPlorer Card enables savings. Frequent users of Scottish Citylink buses travel cheaper with the Scotland Explorer Pass and Discount Cards. Timetables and ticket sales at Scottish Citylink Coaches Ltd. (Internet: www.citylink.co.uk).
Regional buses: timetables for these companies are available from the local tourist offices. The Royal Mail post buses are a special feature. These take passengers with them on many rural routes when the post is delivered. More information online at www.royalmail.com. Car
: Numerous long-distance roads (“A” roads) connect all cities. You have to drive very slowly on the back roads (»B« roads) in rural areas; in higher altitudes they are sometimes impassable in winter. Motorways (Motorways) run from London to all parts of the country. The M25 ring road circled central London. A toll must be paid on certain sections of the route on the M25, M48, M6 and M4 motorways. Various tunnels and bridges are also subject to tolls. Unleaded gasoline (Unleaded Petrol) is almost at all stations available and cheaper than leaded petrol.
A so-called congestion charge (traffic jam fee) is charged for driving into central London Mon-Fri from 7 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. (Internet: www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/congestioncharging/) collected. The fee per vehicle is lower if it is paid by midnight on the day the road is used. If it is paid the following day, it increases.
There are also good east-west and north-south roads in the middle (the Midlands) and north of England. One motorway out of England is the M4 from London to South Wales. You can get to Scotland directly on the M6 (Liverpool-Carlisle) and on the A1 and A68 to Edinburgh or the M6 to Carlisle and from there on the A74 to Glasgow.
Information about driving in the UK provide the automobile club: Automobile Association (AA) (website: www.theaa.com) and RAC Motoring Services(Internet: www.rac.co.uk). Further information can be found under the relevant headings for the individual parts of the country.
Car rental: A credit card number is usually required when booking. The renter usually has to have had a driver’s license for at least a year, but some rental companies want to see a driver’s license that has been valid for at least two years. Average minimum age: 23 years (at least 21 years). Average maximum age: 70 years (occasionally up to 80 years). There are branches of car rental companies in almost all major cities.
Documents:The national driving license is sufficient. Drivers must have liability insurance and have their vehicle papers with them. For nationals of EU and EFTA countries, the car registration number is used as proof of insurance. Nevertheless, EU and EFTA citizens are advised to take the international green insurance card with them in order to benefit from full insurance cover in the event of damage. Otherwise, the statutory minimum liability insurance cover applies. The green card can also make it easier to record accidents.
Traveling in the city
In all cities there are regular buses, reliability and fares are different. There are also underground trains in London, Newcastle, Liverpool and Glasgow (2 lines). Light rail services also operate in Glasgow, Cardiff, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham. There is also a tram in Manchester and Sheffield. Numerous bus routes have been privatized in many cities, including London.
Almost all taxis have a meter. In London and Edinburgh, taxis can be hailed on the street when the yellow “For Hire” taxi sign lights up on the roof of the vehicle. There are taxi ranks everywhere at the main train stations and other central locations in the cities (Internet: www.traintaxi.co.uk). In London you can order a taxi in advance by calling (020) 72 72 02 72. Surcharges apply on weekends, public holidays, at night and for luggage. A tip of 10% is common. In large cities, private taxis without a taximeter (mini cabs) are also available, the prices of which are calculated according to miles traveled. These taxis are usually cheaper, but can only be ordered by phone or in the Mini-Cab office itself. Mini-cab drivers, however, are i. General only knowledgeable about the area in the vicinity of their headquarters. With Mini Cabs, it is advisable to agree the price before driving.
On the go by train
The UK rail network connects over 2,000 train stations every day. BritRail products can be purchased online at www.britrail.com, from DB (www.bahn.de) or in travel agencies with a DB license.
InterCity-Trains connect London to all major cities. There are also good connections to the south east and north of England, south Wales and between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Rural areas are sometimes very difficult to reach (e.g. the north coast of the western counties, parts of East Anglia, North Yorkshire and Northumberland, North Wales, Northern Ireland and southern and northern Scotland), although the regional route networks are quite extensive. Motorail trains run on many routes.
The Southeastern Railway Company’s High Speed 1 (HS1) high-speed lineruns between London and the Eurotunnel. The train shuttles between the Eurotunnel, Ashford, Ebbsfleet, Stratford and London St. Pancras (Internet: www.highspeed1.co.uk/ and www.southeasternrailway.co.uk). The journey time between Ashford and St. Pancras is 26 minutes and between Stratford and St. Pancras only 7 minutes.
Timetable information is available online at www.nationalrail.co.uk or www.britrail.com.
Note on rail travel
Discounts : There are several Rail Passes only available outside of the UK, such as the
– BritRail Euro Consecutive Pass
– BritRail Euro FlexiPass
– BritRail Euro England Consecutive Pass
– BritRail Euro England FlexiPass
– BritRail London Plus Pass
– BritRail Scottish Freedom Pass and
– Explore Wales Pass (Internet: www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk/explorewalespass).
More information about these passes can be found at www.britrail.com and at www.visitbritainshop.com/deutschland/mobil-in-gb/bahnpaesse.html.
Only available in London:
– The London Visitor Travelcard is valid in the greater London area and allows free use of the underground, buses and trains for 1, 3 or 7 days each.
– The One Day Travelcard is valid in the selected areas for underground trains, buses (London Bus Service), Tramlink, Docklands Light Railway and National Railways trains in Greater London.
– The Family Travelcardoffers significant discounts for families and groups of one or two adults and up to four children.
There are additional discounts for children and teenagers, seniors, groups and disabled travelers.
The InterRail pass is valid and entitles not only to rail travel but also to discounts on some ferries. Details see Germany.
Visitors from Germany, Austria and Switzerland can purchase train tickets for all routes within the UK (including transfers between the airport and the city center) as well as the passes listed above at the tourist offices.
Visitors from Germany can also purchase tickets and passes from travel agencies with a railway agency and from all major train stations as well as online at www.visitbritainshop.com/deutschland/mobil-in-gb/bahnpaesse.html.
On the way by ship
For details, see the relevant section for each part of the country.
Seatbelt compulsory; If available, belts must also be used in the back seat. There is a compulsory child seat.
Blood alcohol limit: 0.8%.
In England, Wales and Scotland there is a ban on smoking in vehicles with children under 18 years of age.
Overtaking is on the right.
Right before left also applies in the roundabout, unless the road marking indicates otherwise.
Horns are not allowed between 11.30 p.m. and 7 a.m. in built-up areas.
The use of a hand-held cell phone or car phone is prohibited while driving, the use of hands-free equipment is permitted.
Headlights for left-hand drive cars: The headlights must be taped trapezoidally with insulating tape or a stencil (available at large petrol stations, among others) so as not to dazzle oncoming traffic.
Parking: In cities and towns there are often yellow stripes on the roadside. A yellow double stripe means an absolute parking ban, a yellow single stripe means a limited parking ban (the times when parking is permitted are shown on signs on the street lamps). There is no limit to the number of parking spaces on all other streets. In city centers, yellow signs saying Control Zone – No Unattended Parking are common. A car parked unattended is considered a security risk and treated accordingly. You should never park on the zigzag markings near zebra crossings. In London there are red stripes (so-called red routes) on the side of the road, which indicate that parking is absolutely prohibited. They were mainly introduced on main roads, to speed up the traffic during rush hour. Anyone who parks here must expect to be towed away within a very short time.
Within built-up areas: 48 km / h (30 m / h),
on motorways and trunk roads: 113 km / h (70 m / h),
otherwise 80 km / h (50 m / h) (buses and vehicles with trailers) or 97 km / h (60 m / h) (cars), depending on the information on the corresponding traffic signs.