Figures released today by Transport for London (TfL) reveal that more people are using London Underground (LU) than at any point in its 152-year history.
Close to five million customers (4.735 million) used the Tube on 9 October 2015, making it the network's busiest day ever. The previous record was reached on Friday 28 November 2014, when 4.734 million passengers travelled on the Tube.
The last week of October was the busiest ever week, with 28.614 million customer journeys. The previous busiest week was in December 2014, which saw 28.345 million journeys. TfL expects both the daily and weekly records to be broken again before the end of 2015. Overall, the number of customer journeys on the Tube has increased by a third since 2001, with the rate of growth increasing in the last five years.
Nick Brown, LU's Managing Director, said: `The Tube is carrying more customers than ever before as London's economy and population continue to grow. This is why we are continuing to invest all of our income to modernise the service, improving reliability, train capacity and frequency and upgrading major stations to reduce congestion.'
The current work to improve London Underground is one of the largest programmes of infrastructure investment in the world. With each Tube line being overhauled it is the biggest upgrade on the network in 60 years. Major stations, trains, track and signalling are being modernised or replaced which is supporting 43,000 jobs across the UK and although there is still much to do, customers are already seeing the benefits.
More frequent trains than ever before are running on the Victoria line and a new signalling system on the Northern line is providing a faster, more frequent and more reliable service. Because of the modernisation, journeys are now quicker, with an average reduction of two minutes, and delays down by 43 per cent in the last five years.
Work to transform Victoria, Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street stations is well underway and Holborn, Bank and Camden Town stations will soon benefit from upgrades.
Further upgrades are ahead, with new air-conditioned trains now serving the Metropolitan, District, Hammersmith & City and Circle lines, new signalling planned for those lines, and the radical modernisation of the Central, Piccadilly, Bakerloo and Waterloo & City Lines in the 2020s. Work on the Northern line extension to Battersea is due to start this year, which will support thousands of new jobs and homes and enable major regeneration in the Vauxhall, Battersea and Nine Elms areas.
London is growing faster than any other European city. Its population of 8.6 million today will become nine million by 2018, and 10 million by 2030. The city's public transport and road networks need steady and sustained investment to enable productive growth and the creation of the new jobs and housing the city needs.