Mythical list of London commuter stations.

beez650

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27 Jul 2020
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Aylesbury
We have grandparents near Witney (Oxon) and Bicester (Bucks) and we currently live in Aylesbury (Bucks) on a new estate very close to Aylesbury Vale Parkway Station.
We want to move to a 4/5 bed house somewhere, a larger garden and much more privacy/peace.
The thing is, I work in London quite a bit and was travelling twice or sometimes three times a week.
What I'm trying to do is draw a Zoopla / Rightmove property search map(s) that alert me on properties coming on the market.
I wish there was a way I could cross-reference all the data that exists, or might exist, to aid in drawing these search areas such as:
  • Train Journey time to London (min-max-avg)
  • Number of parking spaces still available at 9:30am
  • Reliability
  • Local road congestion
  • Avg house price for 4/5 beds within 20min drive time.
  • Stats about the area - subjective ones - is it pretty/safe/good school and so on.
...I could go on and on but I hope you get the picture. I think most of the data exists but even finding a rail map took me ages (https://www.openrailwaymap.org/).
Area wise we're looking at a quarter/'pizza slice'/90-degree section directly NW of London so the Grandparents remain within sensible driving distance.
The outer bound would be dictated by total travel time and the inner by our budget I guess...it feels a bit "off" to mention it here but we're in the 8-900k. bracket.

Ok - so my question - are there rail maps that filter on travel time? Can you think of ways/sources to overlay other info? Maybe someone's already done this and has a list?

Thanks
 
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AM9

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St Albans
We have grandparents near Witney (Oxon) and Bicester (Bucks) and we currently live in Aylesbury (Bucks) on a new estate very close to Aylesbury Vale Parkway Station.
We want to move to a 4/5 bed house somewhere, a larger garden and much more privacy/peace.
The thing is, I work in London quite a bit and was travelling twice or sometimes three times a week.
What I'm trying to do is draw a Zoopla / Rightmove property search map(s) that alert me on properties coming on the market.
I wish there was a way I could cross-reference all the data that exists, or might exist, to aid in drawing these search areas such as:
  • Train Journey time to London (min-max-avg)
  • Number of parking spaces still available at 9:30am
  • Reliability
  • Local road congestion
  • Avg house price for 4/5 beds within 20min drive time.
  • Stats about the area - subjective ones - is it pretty/safe/good school and so on.
...I could go on and on but I hope you get the picture. I think most of the data exists but even finding a rail map took me ages (https://www.openrailwaymap.org/).
Area wise we're looking at a quarter/'pizza slice'/90-degree section directly NW of London so the Grandparents remain within sensible driving distance.
The outer bound would be dictated by total travel time and the inner by our budget I guess...it feels a bit "off" to mention it here but we're in the 8-900k. bracket.

Ok - so my question - are there rail maps that filter on travel time? Can you think of ways/sources to overlay other info? Maybe someone's already done this and has a list?

Thanks
I doubt that there is any central source for such info but presumably local estate agents have at least a framework of such facts on which to market properties that are selling. As far as the rail commuting corridors go, you would be including the GWML, Chiltern Mainline, LU Met/Chiltern Aylesbury lines, WCML, MML and possibly the ECML. There are also a few lines branching from some of them but they usually involve a change to the mainline service that increases the overall travel time. Detailed analysis would need to include where trains originate from, and if there are any busy commuting railheads en route which can mean at following stops there are rarely seats available. There's also fares that can vary wildly depending not only on the 'quality' of service but also the TOC's policy on pricing fares from certain commuting hotspots.
 

mike57

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13 Mar 2015
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Location
East coast of Yorkshire
Real time trains can probably give you the data for Journey time, and by looking at running time data it will give you a reliability figure. TOCs also publish data, but this tends to be quite 'coarse' as in percentage cancelled or late by more than a certain amount. You would have to compile a list of stations and gather the data manually and decide on your criteria. Covid-19 also seems to have improved reliability, certainly in my area, so you would need to go back to earlier in the year to get the real picture.

I am now going to turn this on its head... Avg price for a set size of house probably reflects the other inputs pretty accurately. So why not just restrict the data gathering to areas which throw up acceptable properties in budget, and then use the various tools to gather data on those areas. I have imported data from RTT into Excel to look for trends, its a partly manual process, but easy.
 

717001

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rf_ioliver

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I think http://www.commutefrom.com/ is the site you are looking for. I used it a few years ago when there was a possibility of moving back to the UK - in the end I didn't but that's another story.

Here's an example - you tell from where you want to commute and your destination and it then gives ideas of the trip and links to estate agents, schools etc. It seem some of the links are broken but you can easily get the ideas
 

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Mcr Warrior

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"The Telegraph Guide to Commuterland" (by Caroline McGhie) used to be a useful book to refer to. Not sure when it was last updated though.

(Should be able to pick up a copy of the 2009 version for under £3).
 

jfisher21

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21 Mar 2011
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Maybe somewhere on the west coast main line would suit, tring, berkhamsted area is nice with fast trains. Or Haddenham & Thame, somewhere round there on Chiltern.
 

mailbyrail

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23 Dec 2010
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210
I sympathise with your dilemma - I've commuted from Retford, Tring, Bedford & Derby in my time - there's something to be said for each of them
You've got to bear in mind that there's a reason why some of the places are much cheaper than others. Looking at the places on the list in the links above , there's a few I wouldn't visit, let alone want to live in.

I'd start by trying to simplify your search by defining your lifestyle requirements as much as possible to end up with one or two potential areas that meet your general lifestyle requirements, then dig down into the detail.

Your family links are to the NW of London then perhaps forget Essex/Kent/Sussex
If your office is in Docklands then forget Surrey
If you are looking for somewhere to moor your yacht and visit it most weekends, the forget Herts/Bucks
If you're regularly heading off to mountains of Wales for climbing, then stick close to the M40
If you want London clubs, theatres, shopping, you need as short a journey as possible after late nights out
 

Metal_gee_man

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It's a shame but Kent and Ebbsfleet Garden Village are great various brand new builds walking distance to Ebbsfleet Intl

6tph off peak
8tph in peak

1st Train 05.32 to London
Last train 00.12 from London

20 minute journey to St Pancras or 14 to Stratford Intl
 

ForTheLoveOf

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It's a shame but Kent and Ebbsfleet Garden Village are great various brand new builds walking distance to Ebbsfleet Intl

6tph off peak
8tph in peak

1st Train 05.32 to London
Last train 00.12 from London

20 minute journey to St Pancras or 14 to Stratford Intl
Only one problem (if you're OK with living in "that part" of Kent). Season ticket to St Pancras costs an arm and a leg. £475 a month in fact - which gets you out as far as Bedford in the other direction...
 

AM9

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Only one problem (if you're OK with living in "that part" of Kent). Season ticket to St Pancras costs an arm and a leg. £475 a month in fact - which gets you out as far as Bedford in the other direction...
I agree that cost is a consideration when comparing commuting route in isolation, but the availability of a very fast and frequent service to a part of zone 1 may be of such a benefit that its higher cost when, added to a lower cost of housing in North Kent might make the package attractive. In reality, it is the cost of a journey required, the cost per mile isn't really that important.
If a direct comparison is being made though:
1) firstly the £475.40 is for a London Terminals ticket whereas the equivalent from Bedford is £543.00.
2) even doing the correct comparison, the SE ticket gives far more options in terms of terminals and routes to them (which means that stations on thosutes are also available, see here
Bedford to London Terminals is essentially one viable route and possibly a second route via Bletchley. The terminals are listed as LBG, EUS, CTK, STP & BFR
The cheaper Ebsfleet to London Terminals has multiple routes to Central London, e.g. STP via HS1 & on TL via Dartford and the Core, CHX and CST via Dartford, LST - probably via Stratford. The total list is LBG, VIC, CHX, CST, VXH, WAE, CTK, WAT, LST, STP & BFR. So the ticket is considerably more useful, and in many cases would obviate the need for a zones 1-6 addition (at £546.10). A zones 1-6 add-on to the Bedford ticket would make that £640.20.
 
Last edited:

gordonthemoron

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Leighton Buzzard is the first reasonably priced place going north on WCML, and it's quite nice too. Milton Keynes is probably more expensive but has more/faster trains
 

Metal_gee_man

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I agree that cost is a consideration when comparing commuting route in isolation, but the availability of a very fast and frequent service to a part of zone 1 may be of such a benefit that its higher cost when, added to a lower cost of housing in North Kent might make the package attractive. In reality, it is the cost of a journey required, the cost per mile isn't really that important.
If a direct comparison is being made though:
1) firstly the £475.40 is for a London Terminals ticket whereas the equivalent from Bedford is £543.00.
2) even doing the correct comparison, the SE ticket gives far more options in terms of terminals and routes to them (which means that stations on thosutes are also available, see here
Bedford to London Terminals is essentially one viable route and possibly a second route via Bletchley. The terminals are listed as LBG, EUS, CTK, STP & BFR
The cheaper Ebsfleet to London Terminals has multiple routes to Central London, e.g. STP via HS1 & on TL via Dartford and the Core, CHX and CST via Dartford, LST - probably via Stratford. The total list is LBG, VIC, CHX, CST, VXH, WAE, CTK, WAT, LST, STP & BFR. So the ticket is considerably more useful, and in many cases would obviate the need for a zones 1-6 addition (at £546.10). A zones 1-6 add-on to the Bedford ticket would make that £640.20.
Access to Stratford and then easy access via Jubilee, DLR or Central line to the city or Canary Wharf could be a deciding factor
 

ForTheLoveOf

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I agree that cost is a consideration when comparing commuting route in isolation, but the availability of a very fast and frequent service to a part of zone 1 may be of such a benefit that its higher cost when, added to a lower cost of housing in North Kent might make the package attractive. In reality, it is the cost of a journey required, the cost per mile isn't really that important.
Well yes - but also no - for a £475 a month season I'd expect the origin to be somewhere with housing that's considerably cheaper than that part of North Kent. £475 a month will get you to much further out (and cheaper) places. Not everyone necessarily wants to be near central London and all its pollution etc. Having a distance between home and work is no bad thing.

If a direct comparison is being made though:
1) firstly the £475.40 is for a London Terminals ticket whereas the equivalent from Bedford is £543.00.
If you're doing the comparison of a commute to St Pancras then £475 is the correct comparison. For a commute to somewhere else (say, City Thameslink for the City) you have to factor in the increased journey time from Ebbsleet, due to having a change. A 7DS from Bedford to London Thameslink is £477.40 a month. I'm not necessarily saying that Bedford is the place you want to live - I'm just demonstrating how insanely overpriced the Ebbsfleet season ticket is.

2) even doing the correct comparison, the SE ticket gives far more options in terms of terminals and routes to them (which means that stations on thosutes are also available, see here
Bedford to London Terminals is essentially one viable route and possibly a second route via Bletchley. The terminals are listed as LBG, EUS, CTK, STP & BFR
The cheaper Ebsfleet to London Terminals has multiple routes to Central London, e.g. STP via HS1 & on TL via Dartford and the Core, CHX and CST via Dartford, LST - probably via Stratford. The total list is LBG, VIC, CHX, CST, VXH, WAE, CTK, WAT, LST, STP & BFR. So the ticket is considerably more useful, and in many cases would obviate the need for a zones 1-6 addition (at £546.10). A zones 1-6 add-on to the Bedford ticket would make that £640.20.
It's true that a Bedford Travelcard is more expensive than an Ebbsfleet one but if you worked in the city you'd probably take the train to City Thameslink either way. And yes there are more alternative routes for Ebbsfleet, but frankly if everything is tits up with the HS1 route you're going to have to take the train via Dartford, which is going to take you a lot longer. So having more flexibility that isn't it going to be used on any regular basis probably isn't of much use.
 

Mcr Warrior

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"The Telegraph Guide to Commuterland" (by Caroline McGhie) used to be a useful book to refer to. Not sure when it was last updated though.

(Should be able to pick up a copy of the 2009 version for under £3).
You could try the website below, it has details of all of the commuter towns around London organised by county.

Looks like the online version of the book by Caroline McGhie that I previously mentioned. Don't think either are up-to-date.
 

beez650

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Aylesbury
Maybe somewhere on the west coast main line would suit, tring, berkhamsted area is nice with fast trains. Or Haddenham & Thame, somewhere round there on Chiltern.
That's not too far from where we are now - I need to look at what the traffic is like around those stations - Tring does appear to be a bit out of my price bracket but Thame area is maybe possible and the town is nice enough.
 

beez650

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Aylesbury
Your family links are to the NW of London then perhaps forget Essex/Kent/Sussex
If your office is in Docklands then forget Surrey
If you are looking for somewhere to moor your yacht and visit it most weekends, the forget Herts/Bucks
If you're regularly heading off to mountains of Wales for climbing, then stick close to the M40
If you want London clubs, theatres, shopping, you need as short a journey as possible after late nights out
Yup - I've narrowed down the rough area to slightly bigger than NW corner so that's fairly fixed (unless of course the grandparents downsize and move to Pembrokeshire and mess it up a bit)
 

beez650

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Leighton Buzzard is the first reasonably priced place going north on WCML, and it's quite nice too. Milton Keynes is probably more expensive but has more/faster trains
The suburbs of Milton Keynes repeatedly turn up close to suitable properties - my partner would be satisfied with the shopping too.
I'm certainly taking the time to learn more about whats what there - schools, traffic etc
 

gordonthemoron

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The suburbs of Milton Keynes repeatedly turn up close to suitable properties - my partner would be satisfied with the shopping too.
I'm certainly taking the time to learn more about whats what there - schools, traffic etc
Stony Stratford and Newport Pagnall are nice for the bigger places, Milton Keynes Village, Woolstone and Great Linford for the smaller ones
 

Helvellyn

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Depends on trade-offs. It's come up on the MML electrification threads, but for a commute of a hour Wellingborough is a good bet. From May 2021 (delayed from December) you'll have half-hourly 12-car refurbished 360s with 2+2 seating. Commute time to St Pancras under an hour. Downside? An annual is over £6,600. An annual car park season is a further £1,000 but always plenty of room.

Plus side? House prices are pretty good, and if you factor in Rushden, Irchester, Higham Ferrers, Irthlingborough and Finedon you have a good selection of properties.
 

colchesterken

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mmmmm--Times move on I moved to Aylesbury in the late 70s because it was the nearest commutable place to London where we could afford a house !
 

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