12May '10

False Economies

For the sake of saving twenty quid, I’ve turned my two-hour commute
into a three-hour one and hit the limits of my endurance!


Previously I was buying a zone 1-6 travelcard plus a train season
ticket from Dartford into zone 6, for ??60 a week. Since I’ve still
not been paid, I have to save every penny I can so I discovered a pair
of interesting anomalies about the London bus system:


Firstly, zones don’t matter on a buses. Even a single-zone travelcard
works throughout the whole network.


Secondly, those travelcards are still valid on London buses which
travel outside the zones entirely as part of their route.


Putting these two together, I’m now walking about a mile to the bus
stop (down from twice that to the train station), getting a bus from
Dartford to Plumstead station (in zone 4), getting the same train I
would have caught at Dartford into Waterloo East, and finally getting
my usual train to Brentford.


This is all fine in theory.


In practice the bus journey, which should take 30 minutes, takes a
good hour in the mornings so I have to get an earlier one, so now I’m
setting off at 6am to arrive before 9 :-(


BUT there is light at the end of this tunnel! I’ve found a room to let
(via http://www.spare-room.co.uk) just five minutes’ walk from where I
work, for a tiny rent! (well, it’s more than I pay for a three-bedroom
house in Sheffield, but it’s a pittance by London standards) I’ll be
there from next week, so all of this commuting misery will be a thing
of the past… if I can make it till then!


Next post: contractor taxes and how the umbrella companies try to
deceive the unwary.




Sent from my iPhone

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