TfL bracing for unprecedented travel demand ahead of Queen’s state funeral

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TfL bracing for unprecedented travel demand ahead of Queen's state funeral
Image source Unsplash

As the nation continues to mourn the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, London is preparing for unprecedented travel demand on the days leading up to her state funeral.

The Queen’s state funeral is set to be one of the biggest events the capital has ever witnessed.

And as people come to London to pay their respects to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, areas around Westminster, Waterloo and Trafalgar Square, as well as along the South Bank, will be exceptionally busy.

TfL is inviting passengers to take part in the National Moment of Reflection marked by observing a one-minute silence at 8pm on Sunday September 18, the night before the Queen’s state funeral.

A further national two-minute silence will take place at around 11.55am on the September 19. Buses will pull over if it is safe and practical to do so and will switch their engines off.

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Services across London Underground, London Overground, DLR, London Trams and the Elizabeth line will also take part. Announcements to customers will be made just before the minute silence and services will continue to run.

Road closures and diversions will continue until after Monday September 19 as event infrastructure is removed. This is expected to take several days.

Andy Byford, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “We are working around the clock to ensure that Londoners and visitors using the transport network can safely pay their respects to Her Majesty The Queen as she Lies-in-State at Westminster Hall and ahead of the State Funeral on Monday.

“We have worked extremely closely with our partners to help keep our city moving smoothly over the last week, and I once again urge all our customers to check before they travel and before making their return journey, using the TfL website or TfL Go app.

“It is going to be extremely busy in London on Monday and there may be short notice changes and queues to enter stations as a result of the large number of people travelling. We will be running a safe, reliable and frequent service to help ensure that everyone can travel home safely after paying their respects.

“We would encourage people to consider making use of the wide range of facilities open across London for refreshments after the State Funeral. As well as allowing time to continue to pay respects, this will help ensure smoother journeys home for everybody.”

There are likely to be changes to normal routes in and around stations to manage crowds and demand in the coming days:

**September 16-18**

Roads and public transport in and around central London will continue to be very busy. If you can, walking is likely to be the quickest option for shorter journeys.

Due to road closures, some bus services in central London will be diverted or will stop short of their destination, and some may be running a reduced service.

London Underground will run as normal; however, some stations will be busier than usual, and some short-term safety measures such as queuing, closures, non-stopping trains or changes to the way customers enter or exit a station may be necessary. Disabled customers can approach staff so that they may avoid queuing to enter the station.

Customers should avoid Green Park Tube station if possible due to high numbers of customers passing through and to keep capacity for customers who need step-free access. Green Park station is operating as exit-only from 10am to 8pm each day.

Westminster, Charing Cross, Embankment, Victoria, Waterloo, St James’s Park, Lancaster Gate, Hyde Park Corner and Marble Arch Tube stations are also likely to be busier than usual.

The Elizabeth line will run a special service with a train every five minutes on the central section (Paddington-Abbey Wood) on Sunday 18 September to provide further transport options for customers. The East and West sections will operate as normal.

Night Tube and Night Overground services will run on Friday and Saturday nights.

Some taxi ranks will be suspended but temporary ranks have been set up and will be in operation to assist people attending ceremonial events.

Elizabeth line services will run overnight between Paddington and Reading and between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, but not in the central section between Paddington and Abbey Wood.

September 19

All Tube and rail services, including London Overground, the Elizabeth line and the DLR will run a normal weekday service.

Buses will run to a normal weekday schedule but many routes in central London will be diverted around the ceremonial areas.

Tube services start at around 5.30am. Some stations will be busier than usual, and some short-term safety measures such as queuing, closures, non-stopping trains or changes to the way customers enter or exit a station may be necessary.

The Tube will operate for an additional hour in the evening to help support customers leaving central London, as will the central section of the Elizabeth line, with services leaving central London at around 1am. Buses will be running throughout the night with trains starting the following morning from around 5.30am.

Westminster, St James’s Park and Hyde Park Corner stations will be closed for most of the morning. TfL will aim to reopen stations to help customers leaving the Westminster area following the end of the funeral service. Green Park station will be exit only between 10am and 8pm.

The Elizabeth line will operate a regular service of a train every five minutes throughout the day.

The best option for customers arriving or leaving from National Rail termini will be to continue their journey on foot, Marshals and TfL travel ambassadors will be on hand to help with wayfinding.

Bank holiday off-peak fares will apply and concessionary travel, including the 60+ and Freedom Pass, will be valid for use on TfL services all day. Taxis will not charge the Bank Holiday rate for journeys made on Monday 19 September, with taxi fares remaining at normal rates throughout the day.

Victoria Coach Station will be closed due to road closures in the area. Coaches will be diverted to Hillingdon and Wembley Park.

Santander Cycles will operate as normal, but some docking stations may be closed around Green Park, St James’s Park, Whitehall and Westminster. Central London will be very busy and it may be too crowded to cycle in some areas.

September 20

There will be ongoing road closures and bus diversions as event infrastructure is removed. This is expected to take a number of days.

Some road closures, especially around central London will also be in place.

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