Many new residents choose to move to Richmond in order to take advantage of the beautiful setting, rich history and exceptional academic standards in local educational establishments. And as a result, house prices have risen as increasing numbers of young professionals have moved here.
In fact, recently released figures by the Office for National Statistics have indicated that Richmond upon Thames is now one of the “poshest” areas in the whole of the UK. According to the data, just under half of residents fall into the highest social grades based on the profession of the head of each household – or, more specifically, pinpointing the fact that 48.1 per cent of us work in either a managerial or professional role.
Another reason for Richmond upon Thames’ boom in popularity becomes very clear. With only a short commute into Central London, young professionals seeking the best of both worlds – a profitable working life in the busy city contrasted by a peaceful home setting – have found their safe haven right here. Yet while enjoying the peace of a rural setting certainly has its advantages, the nightmare of rush hour traffic can certainly pose a problem.
The question, then, is how exactly workers travelling to the City can make the most of their location. Is it truly possible to make the daily commute less of a chore?
Taking the Train
With only 15 miles to travel before reaching Central London, the District Line can zip you into Central London, and if you live outside of Richmond or Kew (our only tube stations in the Borough) there are plenty of railway stations that will take you through to Vauxhall and Waterloo.
Of course the trains get pretty busy, so if you are not bound by strict working hours, catching a slightly later train will certainly earn you a seat.
Daring to Drive
There are many, many reasons not to drive into Central London first thing in the morning. One of the most pertinent reasons is that everyone else appears to, and another is the much-blasphemed against Congestion Zone. Yet perhaps the most convincing reason to buy a bike instead is the cost of driving these days – petrol and diesel is on the up, parking fees in the city centre could feed a family for a week and then there is the buying of the car itself!
Fortunately, a number of options exist to make this method of travelling more enjoyable and easier on the pocket to boot. First of all, keeping an eye on the Highways Agency Traffic Information feed will notify you of any traffic jams or accidents on your route in to work, as well as offering a journey planner to help you find an alternative route.
Yet if you do end up in a traffic jam, turning off your engine will save you from burning money, and car manufacturers are increasingly cottoning on to “just add fuel” incentives – meaning that the only cost you will have to worry about when buying your car is petrol itself.
Take Advantage of the Thames
No, we’re not suggesting a morning swim! Taking a leaf out of Venice’s book, Transport for London has started to offer water buses for commuters seeking an altogether more peaceful commute. As an alternative to saving money by buying a season ticket, the option of going “private” and hopping on a high-speed catamaran will cut your commuting time – making the possibility of having a lie-in entirely achievable.
In Richmond upon Thames, the river bus boards at Kew Bridge and lies conveniently close to a new scheme of high-end apartment buildings (aka posh flats).
Should professionals consider take advantage of this altogether smoother means of transport, one compelling reason is bound to convince even the most wary of nautical novices – while it may be possible to cram hundreds onto a Tube carriage, boats have maximum capacities and everyone must have a seat.
If a morning mini-cruise doesn’t improve the travel to work, quite frankly, nothing will!
You can find out more about local transport on our imaginatively titled transport page.