Travelling in London may feel daunting, particularly if you're new to the city (or even if you've been here for a while). 

With its tube, underground and overground network of different coloured lines snaking their way around the capital, busses going in every direction, not to forget the waterways, it can be difficult to know where to begin.

London is generally considered safe. However, it's always worth keeping in mind some tips and advice for safe and successful travel when out and about.

Travelling on London's Roads

Remember, on UK roads the traffic travels on the left hand side rather than the right. Therefore, if you are travelling into London from a country where traffic is usually on the right (let's be honest, that's quite a lot of the world), it can be easy to forget. If in doubt, check both ways twice before you cross the street. Also, watch out for cyclists and scooters who may approach near the curb or between lanes of traffic.

Cycling safety

Cycling is a healthy and affordable way to travel around London. To stay safe check out the following links for tips and guidance to help you navigate London's roads. Make sure you secure your bike when you're not using it, for more information see Staying safe where you live.

E-bike and E-scooter safety

The only way to legally ride an e-scooter on public roads or in public places is as part of the TfL e-scooter rental trial. If you are riding on the pavement or road on an e-bike or e-scooter, you may be putting yourself or others at risk and could be breaking the law.

E-bikes and e-scooters also pose a fire risk and have been banned from being taken onto TfL networks since 2021.

Planning your journey

The TfL Go app can help you to plan your journey. The app even shows how long it is to walk or cycle your journey (some stations are very close together).

You can also get access to other maps and guides - tube, bus, cycle, river, audio maps and more TFL maps.

If you enjoy walking and want to see some of the sights and open spaces, there are plenty of great walks across London for you to enjoy Walk London.

Travelling at night
  • Plan your journey in advance.
  • If your plans change, check and update your journey plans.
  • Make sure you have enough phone battery to last the evening in case you need to contact someone.
  • Take a payment card with you - most transport options accept contactless payment.
  • Know which mode of transport you're going to use for your entire journey.
  • If you're getting a taxi or minicab make sure it is either a black taxi or a booked minicab (see below for further information).
  • Travel with friends when you can.
  • Avoid travelling with people you don't know, even if they may seem well intentioned.
  • Avoid walking alone at night. If you do keep to well-lit main roads.
  • Avoid wearing headphones so you can be aware of the sounds around you. 
  • If you have to travel alone, let someone else know where you are going and how you're travelling, for example, you can share your live location.
  • Remain vigilant and if something doesn't feel right trust your instincts and seek help.
  • If you need urgent help and don't feel safe to speak, you can make a silent 999 call.
The Night Tube only runs on certain lines and days - usually Fridays and Saturdays. So the key thing for travelling at night is to plan ahead and make sure that you know how you're getting home.

The London Bus network runs 24 hours a day. TfL have a live arrivals tool and also you can text 87287 with the bus stop code (shown on the top of the bus stop) to find our the next arrival time.

Safer traveling by taxi or minicab

London's iconic black taxis are the only cabs that can be 'hailed' off the street. They will display an orange 'taxi' light if they are in service.

Black taxis can be booked and they all have a card machine so fares can be paid with cash or cards. They must display an in date taxi licence, which shows the license number, vehicle registration number and expiry date.

Minicabs or private taxis cannot be hailed off the street. They must be pre-booked and you must receive a booking confirmation that contains the details of the driver and vehicle.

Minicabs will display the licence, which is usually a round sticker, on the back window of the vehicle.

Contact details for taxi or minicab bookings.

Don't get in:
  • If you are offered a minicab on the street, even if they are displaying a licence, as the minicab is operating illegally, will be uninsured and it is unsafe.
  • If you are offered a lift in a vehicle that you have not requested or haven't booked, even if you believe or are told that it is a taxi and will take you home.
  • If you feel uncomfortable or the details of the booking do not match the details you have been given in the booking.
Remember, you can also request to terminate a journey at any point if you feel unsafe or uncomfortable. For example, if the taxi or minicab takes an unexpected route or deviates for any reason, or they stop the vehicle other than as necessary during the journey or seek to change where they are sitting. If you are offered anything to drink or eat from the driver, do not accept.

Request to be dropped somewhere busy, well lit, with CCTV so you can contact someone who can help, for example it could be a hospital, police, fire or ambulance station, train or bus station.

TfL advise that for legally booked minicabs you should expect:
  • Booking confirmation - including the driver's name, TfL licence number, vehicle registration and, where possible, a photo of the driver.
  • Pick up - a licensed driver and vehicle will be sent to pick you up. The driver will have undergone police background checks.
  • Record - a record will be kept of the journey, the driver and the vehicle they use in case there are any problems.
  • Check - if the driver and vehicle is not the same as the booking confirmation, do not get in the vehicle.
  • Reporting - the majority of journeys take place without incident. However, you can report inappropriate driver behaviour to the police and TfL by calling 0343 222 4000 (Monday to Friday 09:00-17:00) or reporting online.
If you feel unsafe or threatened when travelling:

In an emergency contact 999 or for non-emergency contact 101.

If you have a hearing or speech impairment, use textphone service 18000 or text us on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergencySMS service.

Silent emergency calls - you can still contact the police if you can't speak by calling 999 and pressing 55 on your mobile when prompted, your call will be transferred to the police. If you can, try to let the operator know where you are and what is happening even if you're not speaking directly to them.

If you're on a TfL service you can contact the British Transport Police discreetly in a non-emergency situation by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40. You can also download the BTP app Railway Guardian for safe travel guides and advice.

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