Thursday, August 17, 2006

What is the optimal route from Wapping to Bedfont Lakes?

I live in the perfect location for a career in the City: I am a mile or so from the Tower of London and a twenty minute walk from Canary Wharf.

There is one small problem, though: I don't work in the financial services industry; I work in the IT industry. And the spiritual home of the IT industry in the UK is the "M4 Corridor". This is in West London. In other words, I live in the opposite end of town to where my industry is based.

Working for IBM, this normally isn't a problem: I spend most of my time at clients (I am very close to a good airport - London City), working from home or at an IBM location of my choice (South Bank is easy to get to and Hursley isn't too painful once in a while).

However, occasionally, it's necessary to go where the critical mass is. And that means that today I had to go to Bedfont. 

Bedfont Lakes is one of IBM's main locations. It's very close to Heathrow Airport and is in the heart of IT-land (SAP are next door, Oracle are down the road, etc, etc). 

So the question is: how do I get there?  The "M4 Corridor" is named after the motorway that it follows. The clue is there..... this is a car-oriented working environment.  The area consists of never-ending streams of dreary business "parks" clustered around artificial lakes and "interesting" sculptures.  It's "nice" if you like that sort of thing, I suppose...

However, for me, this sort of setup is a pain in the neck. I don't run a car and, even if I did, it wouldn't do me much good as I'd have to cross Central London in it.

So, when I come to Bedfont, I take the train. And the question I've been gearing up to, readers, is: "Which way should I go?"

Here are my options:

Home -> Waterloo -> Feltham -> Bus/Cab to office

Home -> Paddington -> Heathrow -> Bus/Cab to office

The Waterloo option is convenient because it's easier for me to get to Waterloo than Paddington but the trains to Feltham don't run hugely regularly.

The Paddington option is cool because the Heathrow Express is fast but it also costs a lot more and if you get your timing wrong, you can be fighting with 300 irritable, smelly travellers off a 747 from halfway across the world.

I used the Waterloo option today and it wasn't too painful but I can't help thinking I'm missing a trick.  Just what is the best way to get from Docklands to Bedfont?


Sam said...

When I lived in Bedfont (if you value your life, don't ever consider living there!), I used to get back from Central London by jumping on the Piccadily line to Hatton Cross and then getting the free bus to IBM Bedfont Lakes.

Henry said...

These trolls will not work.

I shall not comment on any transport optimization issue until they are posted (or at least cross-posted) to Design Patterns for Modern Life.

Richard Brown said...

Thanks for the comment, Sam. I did take the Piccaddilly once... it took forever!! However, I suspect you could be right that it's a good choice if you're heading for Central London.

Henry... I am very tempted to cross post. But, sadly, my colleague Mr. Piper, has tricked me into believing that a large readership is more important than anything else and, so, I am concentrating all efforts on my "premier" blog. However, I'm prepared to make an exception. If I remember tomorrow, I will cross post. Just for you

andyp said...

That's so sad. I'm sorry. I was about to come here and comment that you should have put this on DPfML, but now I find that I've in some way deceived you, for which I apologise.

I had no idea that popularity was so important to you. Really can't help it if I currently have a storming page impression rate...

Richard Brown said...

I had no idea that popularity was so important to you.

Is there anything else?

Really can't help it if I currently have a storming page impression rate...