Elizabeth Line vs Heathrow Express vs Black Cab: Travel pundits put London’s shiny new £18.9 billion train service to the test in a race to West End’s Terminal 2
- London’s shiny new Elizabeth Line has been hailed as a transport revolution
- Travel website Points Guy UK has put its speed credentials to the test
- They raced to Heathrow on the day the new line opened, Tuesday 24 May
LondonThe shiny new £18.9bn Elizabeth line has been hailed as a transport revolution.
But how does it compare in speed terms to the capital’s trusty black cab and the vaunted Heathrow Express on the classic journey from central London to Heathrow? Not as good as it turns out.
Three travel experts from The Points Guy UK filmed a fascinating race between the three modes of transport from Oxford Circus to Heathrow Terminal 2 on the day the Elizabeth line opened, Tuesday 24th May – and the Elizabeth line came last. Surprisingly, the black taxi took the top spot on the podium, followed by the Heathrow Express.
Nicky Kelvin is pictured here speeding towards Heathrow on the £18.9billion Elizabeth Line
Nicky Kelvin, head of The Points Guy UK (TPG UK), paid £12.50 to whiz along Elizabeth line from Tottenham Court Road (east of Oxford Circus Tube) to Terminal 2 via a change at Paddington station.
He said: “It was incredibly exciting to be on that Elizabeth line within hours of its opening. The experience on board the train was brilliant with brand new fresh carriages and a conveniently located and impressive station on Tottenham Court Road. The other big advantage was the cost. At £12.50 this was far cheaper than the other methods.
“What is lacking with this option is time and convenience. The train takes a little longer as it makes several stops and you first have to change trains in Paddington to get to Heathrow. The Elizabeth line will come into its own in the coming months as direct trains from central London to Heathrow are added.’
Liam, upstairs at the Heathrow Express, said: “The whole experience felt very relaxed and ensured I got to the airport without any stress.”
race the Heathrow Express from Paddington, with a little help from a connected Bakerloo Tube train, was Liam Spencer, who paid £25 for his ticket.
He told MailOnline Travel: “The convenience and comfort of the Heathrow Express service cannot be overstated.
“In terms of speed, there is no faster option than the 15 minutes it takes to get to Terminals 2 and 3 from Paddington Station.
“As on this occasion, there is almost always ample seating available, complete with charging ports and tray tables.
“The whole experience felt very relaxed and made sure I got to the airport without any stress.
“On the other hand, a £25 one-way fare is certainly not cheap. Booking further in advance can get you a better price, but this isn’t always an option for last-minute travel.
“It’s also a shame the service only operates from Paddington – adding another departure point would help serve more of London.”
One of London’s cab drivers trusted Benjamin Smithson, who paid a whopping £74 for his ride
Put your trust in you London taxi driver was Benjamin Smithson, who paid a whopping £74 for his ride.
He commented: “It was a luxurious experience to travel to Heathrow Airport in an iconic London black cab.
“With six passenger seats in my custom taxi, there was plenty of room for my luggage and I to spread out and my cheerful taxi driver was ready to chat as we headed to the airport.
“I was shocked how quickly we got to Terminal 2 – there was no traffic and the whole journey took less than 40 minutes.
“However, that convenience and comfort came at a price – at £74 it’s an expensive trip, although it would have made more financial sense had there been six of us.
“Even in busy Oxford Circus, it took a good five minutes to hail a taxi.
“Carpooling is cheaper so next time I think I’ll save about £20 and take an Uber or Bolt instead.”
The Points Guy UK team exchange views at the finish line