Does your heart sink when you have to carry out courier jobsin and around London? Driving in the Capital presents some unique difficulties to those who drive for a living, but with a little bit of forward planning, there’s no reason for your blood pressure to soar when you’re driving through this congested zone.
Plan Your Route
The first thing to think about when you’re doing courier jobs in London is planning a route and making sure that there are no scheduled delays, which are likely to hold you up. Nowadays we are all very reliant on our Sat Navs, but when you’re driving into London, it’s well worth knowing exactly where you are going in advance. This is because the Capital, more than any other UK city, is likely to throw diversions, road closures, accidents and even political demonstrations in your path, seemingly just to prevent you from getting to your destination.
The solution to avoiding these potential issues is to take a little time before you set off to work out your route on a map (virtual or on paper). Once you’ve decided on the route you want to take, go online and check whether there are any scheduled disruptions that would delay you – or prevent you entirely from carrying out your plan. Transport for London has a great website that will inform you of any major delays or events that may obstruct your path. Only once you know exactly where you’re going should you enter your desired route into your Sat Nav and set off.
Anyone who regularly carries out courier jobs in London will tell you that there is virtually no time of day when the Capital is not heaving under the weight of constant traffic. In spite of this information, there’s no need to worry: take a few deep breaths, know that your journey is going to take you longer than the kilometre distance suggests and don’t let the constant red lights and pushy drivers get to you.
The main thing to know is that, in most cases, there really is no way around the traffic. If an area is blocked off, for example, side streets are bound to be busy as well. Usually the best way to deal with traffic is to simply remain calm and patient – you’ll get through it soon enough!
Travel in Pairs
If you don’t know London well or are dropping a load off in a particularly crowded area, it may be worth bringing a second person with you. Not only is another pair of eyes useful when looking out for street names or building numbers, but if your delivery is in a busy area with expensive parking, your companion may also be able drop the delivery off while you pull in somewhere to wait (or even drive around the block). That way you won’t have to face one of London’s most challenging aspects: the overzealous traffic wardens.
Driving in London can be frustrating if you’ve put yourself under too much pressure by promising unrealistic delivery times. If you assume that there will be traffic (and there almost certainly will be!), allow yourself a bit of extra time to reach your destination. Customers are more likely to be disappointed in a driver who is late than in a driver who gave them a later – and realistic – delivery time upfront.
Carrying out courier jobs in London can be a challenge, but don’t be put off: deliveries in the Capital generally pay well and you can often find more than one job to make the visit financially worthwhile. Just plan ahead, stay calm and you’ll be in and out of the city before you know it.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 4,800 trans-port exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.