Buyers moving out of London to the country often base their purchase on a commute and accessibility to a railway station. Local stations vary with the services they provide and the reliability, plus there is the unknown drive time to the station with narrow lanes, local traffic to be gauged. Sometimes what appears on paper to be a feasible commute can prove longer and more tricky in practice, but once you’ve made the move it’s only then you discover it’s not such an easy ride.
Certain local stations are more prone to delays and disrupted services, connections and changes may occur and delay the last leg into London; sometimes a station that is further out and appears to take longer can offer a more reliable and faster journey time. Buying agents are a massive advantage when considering commuter towns and villages because they know the intricacies of local roads and traffic and also can provide an accurate knowledge of which stations and rail routes do what they say on the timetable.
The Hampshire and the South West Commute
“Andover station is seen as a main hub for those who need to commute on the Waterloo line.” says Ben Horne, Middleton Advisors, Hampshire & South-West. “However, driving into the town in the mornings can be tricky and make the journey in to the station vary on a daily basis. Many locals prefer to drive west to Grateley station which increases their train journey time by 10 minutes but the station is easy to get to, has loads of parking and the coffee man is always there early! Likewise although Hook is closer to London there are far more fast trains running from Basingstoke and stations further west.”
The Oxfordshire & the Cotswolds Commute
Adam Buxton, Middleton Advisors, Oxfordshire & the Cotswolds says “Across the Cotswolds and Oxfordshire the two main commuting lines are those serving Marylebone on the eastern side and Paddington to the western side. Villages in proximity of the likes of Oxford Parkway, Banbury and even Bicester North all benefit from frequent trains and less stops. By contrast venturing further west in to the Cotswolds the nature of the unspoilt countryside has meant the rail lines, thankfully, have not been upgraded or electrified meaning slower, smaller trains and as a result of being further out a longer commute.
Hanborough, Charlbury and Kingham are regular haunts by commuters on the Paddington line as they are the regular stops on most trains, however if you want to stop at Finstock, Ascott-under-Wychwood or Shipton you need to plan your London departure more carefully. These villages and those within striking distance offer all of the benefits of country living, but missing the 17.49 from Paddington to Shipton, means waiting till 21.48 for the next direct train!”
The Home Counties Commute
“One of the key considerations for buyers in the home counties is getting back into London quickly and easily for work; for most people this means getting the train.’ offers Mark Crampton, Middleton Advisors, Home Counties. “There is a lot of information available for the public to help make these important decisions with online train timetables and so on,. However there is nothing like a bit of local knowledge to make sure you don’t get caught out.
Striking rail companies and engineering works are the most common issues that can catch commuters out. But overcrowded car parks and infrequent or unreliable train services can also be a source of huge stress. Having some local knowledge can really help to pick the best route into London, for example driving a bit further to a station that is not your closest one but has a more reliable service or where you are guaranteed a seat.”