TONBRIDGE has been named as the third best location in the country for commuting into London, according to research carried out by estate agent Jackson-Stops.

With the latest rail fare increases -outstripping wage rises, and poor services making headlines last year, Jackson-Stops compiled its list based on house prices, annual house price growth, train reliability and speed of journey.

Luton in Bedfordshire came out on top, followed by Dorking in Surrey, while Tonbridge shares third place with Slough in Berkshire and Weybridge in Surrey.

Nick Leeming, Chairman at Jackson-Stops, said: “Commuters to London are going to be feeling the strain of their annual rail fare in 2018, with the 3.4 per cent average increase in price outstripping wage growth for many. 

“It isn’t just about the average house price, many people will have first-hand experience of train delays, engineering works and strikes, and will be looking closely at the length, quality and cost of their commute.”

According to the research, the average house price in Tonbridge is £406,378, an 11 per cent increase year on year.

An annual travel card to London from this month costs £4,928 and parking for a year is £1,160. The fastest journey to London terminals is 44 minutes and there was an 88 per cent performance measure for the operator, Southeastern.

 Mr Leeming makes reference to the castle, River Medway, Haysden Park’s green flag status and the plethora of grammar schools, and adds ‘the town has a new reputation as a foodie haven’.

He says: “Many young professionals are attracted to the historic market town’s easy access to picturesque countryside, combined with some of the best commuting times around – not to mention the fact there is a very good chance of getting a seat on the train in the morning. 

“Tonbridge has benefited from regeneration in recent years with £2.62million poured into improving the High Street.

“The town centre pathway running along the River Medway has also recently been transformed into a pleasant open space for pedestrians, encouraging people to stop and enjoy the lovely views.”