Southend or Stansted?

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

The decision that the British government and the Norther Ireland Department for the Economy have made to continue the Derry-Londonderry link with a London airport will be welcomed by those people living in the city.

Instead of taking the train into London, passengers into Southend airport might just settle for the beach at Southend instead.

That the service will now fly into Southend rather than Stansted might make them concerned as it did me. After all, Southend is at the end of Essex, almost in the North Sea whereas Stansted is much more convenient.

How wrong I was and easy it is to decry things without looking at all the pluses and minuses.

You might think that it was advantageous to fly into a big airport like Stansted with its train and coach connect ions but Southend has similar benefits. The big difference between the two airports is the word “big.” Stansted moves over 18 million passengers a year; Southend has about 1.5 million but is quickly growing. Nonetheless, it won’t get to be the size of Stansted which means it is unlikely to experience any of the delays and crushes that can take place at Stansted.

Taking the train from Stansted to London Liverpool Street takes 47 minutes on average and costs about £22.70 return. The train links you to the underground both at Liverpool Street and Tottenham Hale and has just two stops. The train from the airport at Southend is also a direct service into London Liverpool Street, takes 53 minutes and costs about £23.80 return. It however stops seven times but when Cross Rail eventually opens, there will the opportunity to change at Shenfield and using services from there, get into other parts of London without having to go to Liverpool Street.

The service from Stansted runs every fifteen minutes; from Southend it runs every twenty so there is hardly any difference.

On the whole, I’d rather use a smaller airport like Southend rather than a bigger one like Stansted. Derry-Londonderry passengers could actually find that Southend is a better option for them.

Perhaps other domestic destinations in the UK should look at links via Southend rather than other more crowded London airports.

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