TO even regular Tube users there are painful parts of the Underground system that appear unavoidable, namely the long walks and the countless tourists.
But there are a number of ‘hacks’ that the real pros use to save time – and preserve their sanity.
Many will be familiar with the apparently endless interchange tunnels at Green Park populated by confused tourists with their mountains of luggage and suited types getting on the Jubilee Line.
But if you’re simply trying to get from the Victoria Line to the Piccadilly Line there is an easy way to avoid the hordes – simply go up to the ticket hall and from there follow signs back down the escalator to your desired line.
It is a route guaranteed to save you time – and stress.
Similarly at Leicester Square you can shave around 300m off your walk between lines. Again you need to ignore where the signs are telling to go from the Piccadilly Line to the Northern Line.
Instead walk to the stairs directly at the end of the Piccadilly Line platform to change onto the Northern Line saving you valuable minutes.
There’s a similar time-saving trick you can do one stop away at Piccadilly Circus.
If you arrive via the northbound Bakerloo Line, instead of following the signs for Piccadilly Line, use the 'secret’ spiral staircase about halfway down the platform.
Of course sometimes the easiest way to beat the Tube system is simply go outside and walk.
Seasoned travellers will know that the Tube map gives a distorted vision of the proximity of each station to the next meaning you can unnecessarily longer journeys simply by changing trains rather than going on foot above ground.
Covent Garden and Leicester Square, for example are only a five-minute walk apart, while Lancaster Gate to Paddington is a five-minute walk above ground, but if you tried to tackle the journey on the Tube you’d need to undertake a 15-minute Tube journey including a line change.
Elsewhere, Knightsbridge to Sloane Square is just a ten-minute walk, as is Blackfriars to St Paul’s.
There is a handy alternative tube map that shows the walking distance between stops to enable you to work out whether to stay on or hop off the Tube.
And needless to say, there is a handy app to help you save minutes on your journeys.
Tube Exits gives you a handy guide as to where to sit on the train for ease of exit, potentially saving you up to 10 minutes a trip.
Pictures courtesy of Rex Features and Walk London