17 May 2017
Existing commitments and family life meant I was not able to move, so commuting to university was the only option for me. But how?
One option was the train. Chelmsford train station is only a ten to 15-minute stroll to campus, nice on a warm sunny day. Let’s not forget, the journey can be used to an advantage – extra study time! Travelling during peak time can be a tad expensive, but, if you fall into the 16-25 years age bracket a railcard can save you some pennies. Unfortunately, I don’t, one of the cons of getting old! Plus, for me a train commute would consist of two-and-a-half hours travelling, two buses and three trains. Not a great start and finish to the day.
Another option would be to get a bus. Chelmsford has got a good bus network, there are bus stops on campus and the main station is only a 15-minute stroll away. However, for me this would mean four hours sitting on a bus! This was defiantly a no.
So, my best option was to do the 45-minute drive. But now, where do I park? As you know there is no parking on the campus site. There are various public car parks in the city centre, ranging in distance to the campus and the prices they charge. In the first couple of weeks of my course I found parking in the nearby one easy; this did not last. Once all the courses had started, parking very quickly became like Russian roulette: will I find a space or won't I? Driving from one car park to another. I would imagine it being easier if your lectures start early, but mine didn’t start till 10am.
Now I use the Park & Ride. There are always spaces available and the buses run every ten minutes, stopping on campus. As a bonus it only costs £3 per day. Taking this into account my total travel time is just over one hour door to door and no stress – well, apart from when there is traffic!
Commuting is not for everyone, but if you are considering it, or, it’s your only option, I hope this has helped. Chelmsford has a fantastic travel network and when considering how to commute I would advise you to consider all your options and work out what will be best for you.