The end of the bus tour

23Aug10

I took the kids for a day out to the Tower of London last week. Despite one of my colleagues suggestions I didn’t leave them there. It was great – particularly the knights tournament and the water balloon catapult in the moat.

On leaving, my wife suggested that we should take a tour bus to kill the hour and a half that we had until our dinner reservation in Picadilly Circus. My gut feel was that this was a bad (expensive) idea, but I went along with it until the bill shock slapped us right in the face – £74 for a two adults and two children. We used our Travelcards to jump on a number 15, which took us right where we were going (lucky) and the London traffic was almost slow enough to make us on time.

This got me thinking – why would anybody (other than an Aberdeen Angus munching tourist uber-idiot) ever pay that much to get carted around London (or any other city) when there’s a perfectly good public transport system [1]. I believe (in due course) there’s an app for that. I know that having a tour guide can be part of the experience, but there’s the language issue for many tourists (who are often left listening to some black box anyway). Why not just use a location based app on a smartphone? As part of the ‘right click universe’ you then get to make your own tour – get on a bus – point at the things that look interesting – get the blurb.

[1] If we’d not already bought Travelcards then the daily limit for Oyster travel on London buses is £3.90, and kids are free. £7.80 or £74 – tough choice.



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