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 Post subject: travelling to Tonbridge
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:20 am 
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Hi,

Is there someone aware of anyone travelling to Tonbridge from London Bridge station or nearby area?

Thanks


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:15 am 
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I have children at school in Tonbridge and haven't come across anyone making that journey.
Do think about whether a trip of this length is sustainable. What will you do if for example your child needs to be at school at 5.30/6.am for a school trip ( I am thinking of pretty much compulsory ones that the whole year group go on for the day eg a day trip to France). What if your child needs to be at school at 8.am on a Saturday morning for an away sporting fixture? Or getting back from after school clubs/ sports?
Could you move to Tonbridge or even to Orpington ( from which quite a few children commute)? The commute to London for an adult would be far easier than for an 11 year old child to Tonbridge.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:37 am 
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It's about 34 minutes by train. That's shorter than a lot of Kent children's bus journeys to their closest Kent school. So it's great if you live in the Shard!

Sorry, no I don't know of anyone. Maybe the school concerned would tell you?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:39 pm 
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mystery wrote:
It's about 34 minutes by train. That's shorter than a lot of Kent children's bus journeys to their closest Kent school. So it's great if you live in the Shard!

Sorry, no I don't know of anyone. Maybe the school concerned would tell you?


Hi Mystery,

Yes thats why i am considering Tonbridge as its a straight train from London bridge of 35 min journey.
If I think to move Tonbridge then we have to travel to central London for work which would be very costly considering two adult train tickets and for my DD travelling to Tonbridge its one child ticket which would be much cheaper.
At the same time i cant decide whether it will be good for my DD to do a journey everyday on her own from London bridge to tonbridge.

Could I have some more suggestions on this please?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:16 pm 
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I don't personally think the train journey itself is the problem once she is used to it - it's the bit at your end in London that could be problematic perhaps? At Tonbridge your DD should be in a crowd of others walking to and from the station so hopefully will meet up with familiar faces. There may be others getting off at other stops along the line to London Bridge perhaps too?

The other issue is friends - if the school does not have any children attending from your local area she will not have any school friends who live close by. This could be case for other Tonbridge girls too though for different reasons.

I would contact the school and see what they can tell you about residence and travel patterns along that particular trainline. She'll need a high score from out of area. Any local friends who might want to do similar and help with your dilemma?

Which year would your DD start year 7?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:26 pm 
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I commute part-time to London Bridge from Sevenoaks and envy the mostly-empty trains passing on the reverse route to Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and beyond. Your DC would have a choice of seats and even an empty configuration of 4 seats with a table on some trains at the relevant time.

I'm confident about that as I sometimes travel on business to Ashford on a train 7:40ish from Sevenoaks and often get a table to myself if the grammar school kids getting on at the same time don't take them all first! Your DC could study, read, listen to music, etc, until Sevenoaks and then join the banter with peers for the last few minutes of the journey.

You'd need a pretty reliable contingency plan, however, in the event of bad weather cancellations of trains, particularly getting DC home if stranded at school - London would then seem too far away.

You also need to check how proposed timetable and London terminus changes in connection with the phased rebuilding of London Bridge Station may affect your DC in their first year or so - depending on year of entry, as Mystery has asked. For example, there will be no peak-morning Sevenoaks express services stopping at London Bridge from January 2015 for about 18 months. (I'll be going to Cannon Street instead or catching the stopping service.) I don't know if services in the opposite direction are similarly affected.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:39 pm 
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I don't know TOGS at all, but we were happy looking at that line for Judd. It doesn't of course depend on what journey you have afterwards, but it seemed doable, and there are plenty of people on slower trains.

However I would look through the term diary carefully as there will be a number of events that will require one or other of you to be at school in the evening, and that is possibly the part that you will end up resenting the most. And yes, your dd's friends will be in Kent, so there will be a lot of weekend travel. It isn't just shopping and parties, but assignments may mean that they are expected to meet up out of school too.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:52 pm 
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It's not just the '34 minutes' though is it?

Hanging around waiting for the train is never fun especially in winter. That line is notorious for delays, especially coming home. The logistics of becoming unwell at school, needing to stay for a club, meeting up with friends etc etc mean it's not something I'd recommend.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:23 pm 
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Personally, I wouldn't let the journey put you off. Obviously it is a consideration but if you are convinced TGS is the right school and there are no comparable local alternatives, I'm sure your daughter will cope.

We are contemplating a similar journey for our DD but from Sussex so in the opposite direction. Quite a few girls do it from this direction and even if none travel quite as far as London Bridge, I'm sure there will be others from that direction who will get the same train.

I travelled to school by train from the age of 10 and I have very fond memories of the train journeys with my friends and don't feel I missed out by not having many local friends.

We were very impressed with TGS and DD is very keen to go there which we felt was really important.

Good luck with your deliberations.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:32 pm 
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chimera-ma wrote:
You also need to check how proposed timetable and London terminus changes in connection with the phased rebuilding of London Bridge Station may affect your DC in their first year or so - depending on year of entry, as Mystery has asked. For example, there will be no peak-morning Sevenoaks express services stopping at London Bridge from January 2015 for about 18 months. (I'll be going to Cannon Street instead or catching the stopping service.) I don't know if services in the opposite direction are similarly affected.


Hi,

Sorry I am not aware of this proposed timetable for 2015. My DD will start secondary school in sep 2015. Could you please suggest where I can see the timetable for 2015.

thanks


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