Unit 10.1

Modes of transport: Long-distance transport: Planes, trains and ships

Air transport

Most Important International and National Airports

  • London’s Airports
    • Heathrow (LHR): It is a major international airport in London and the busiest airport in the United Kingdom. It is connected to Great Britain’s motorway network via the M4 and M25 motorways. It is connected to London Paddington station by Heathrow Express trains which stop at terminals 2 & 3 and 5. For more transport options visit heathrow.com.
    • Gatwick (LGW): It is London’s second-largest international airport. It is also the second busiest airport in the whole of the United Kingdom. The airport consists of two terminals. Its train station located at the South Terminal connects to 120 stations directly. Gatwick Express offers a non-stop rail service between the airport and Victoria in central London. Trains run every 15 minutes. For more transport options visit gatwickairport.com.
    • Stansted (STN): It is an international airport. It is located in London. It is the fourth busiest airport in the United Kingdom. You can get to London by Stansted Express. The station is located below the airport. For more transport options visit stanstedairport.com.
    • Luton (LTN) is London’s fourth-largest airport and the third-closest to the capital. You can get to London from it via Luton Airport Parkway railway station which is connected to the airport by shuttle bus service. For more transport options visit options visitlondon-luton.co.uk.
    • Southend (SEN) is an international airport located 58 km from the centre of London. Southend Airport railway station is connected to the London Liverpool Street station. The train goes there up to eight times per hour, for more options visit southendairport.com.
  • Manchester (England) is the third busiest international airport in the United Kingdom. Trains run every 10 minutes, 7 days a week, from Manchester Airport station to Manchester Piccadilly station. For more transport options visit manchesterairport.co.uk.
  • Edinburgh (Scotland): It is an airport located in Edinburgh and the busiest airport in Scotland. It is also the sixth busiest airport in the United Kingdom. It is served by Edinburgh Trams, you can go by it to the centre of the city. For more transport options visit edinburghairport.com.
  • Belfast (Northern Ireland) is an international airport. It is Northern Ireland’s busiest airport and the second-busiest airport on the island of Ireland. Regular bus and coach services connect the airport to Belfast, Lisburn and Londonderry. For more transport options visit belfastairport.com.
  • Cardiff (Wales) is the busiest airport in Wales. Bus line T9 connects the airport directly to Cardiff Bay and Cardiff City Centre, the station is located in front of the airport. For more transport options visit cardiff-airport.com.

Representative Airline Companies

  • Easyjet is a British low-cost airline. It is the second-largest airline in the United Kingdom. It offers 136 destinations including France, Italy, Spain or Germany. You can check flights, buy tickets and do online check-in at easyjet.com.
  • British Airways is a flag carrier airline and it is the largest airline in the United Kingdom in terms of its fleet size. With British Airways it is possible to fly to European countries and also the United States, Canada, Australia, China, Turkey and many other non-European countries. You can check flights, buy tickets and do online check-in at britishairways.com.
  • Virgin Atlantic is a British airline with its head office in Crawley. Virgin Atlantic uses a mixed fleet of Airbus and Boeing wide-body aircraft and operates to destinations in North America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. You can check flights, buy tickets and do online check-in at virginatlantic.com.

Railway Networks

  • National Rail (England): It is the railway operator in England. It was introduced in 1999. Formerly it was called British Rail. To plan your journey and buy tickets visit nationalrail.co.uk
  • Scot Rail (Scotland): It is the railway operator in Scotland. It is used for all Scottish regional and commuter rail services. It was introduced in 1983. To plan your journey and buy tickets visit scotrail.co.uk.
  • Network Rail (Wales): It is the railway operator in most of the rail network in Wales. To plan your journey and buy tickets visit networkrail.co.uk.
  • NI Railways (Northern Ireland): It is the railway operator in Northern Ireland. It is one of two publicly-owned train operators in the United Kingdom. To plan your journey and buy tickets visit translink.co.uk.

River Transport

  • London River Services Limited: It is a division of Transport for London. It manages passenger transport on the River Thames. They have various boat companies within their organisation. They began operation in 1999. To check routes, fares or timetables visit tfl.gov.uk

Representative Ports

  • Port of Immingham is the busiest cargo port in the United Kingdom. It is located on the east coast near the town of Immingham.
  • The port of London was once the world’s busiest port. Today it is the second port in the United Kingdom, and it is all-purpose port. You can check arrivals and departures at pla.co.uk.
  • Port of Liverpool is one of the largest in the country and the main one when it comes to connections with Ireland.
  • Port of Dover is located in south-east England. It is the nearest English port to France and one of the world’s busiest passenger ports. You can check offers at doverport.co.uk.
  • Port of Milford Haven is the busiest cargo port in Wales and United Kingdom’s largest energy port.
  • Portsmouth is a port and ferry terminal. It is located in England. It operates with departures and arrivals for cruise ships, cargo ships and passenger ferries. It offers routes to France, Spain and the Channel Islands. You can check offers at portsmouth-port.co.uk.

Most Important River Navigation Routes

  • The longest river is the Severn. It just 220 miles in length. It begins in Wales and enters the Atlantic Ocean near Bristol in England. The other important river is the Thames. It flows through Oxford and London. Also, the Trent and Mersey rivers are important. They drain rainfall from large areas of central England.
  • Canals of the United Kingdom are a major part of the network of inland waterways. Majority of canals can contain boats with a length of 17 and 22 m and are now used primarily for leisure.
    • New Junction Canal and Gloucester and Sharpness Canal can accommodate boats with a length to 70 m.
    • Manchester Ship Canal was the largest ship canal in the world. It can accommodate ships with length to 183 m and is 58 km long.

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