Londoners advised to plan ahead for journeys throughout festive period
- Customers encouraged to plan early for journeys across this period
- The latest Government advice makes it clear journeys can be made but Londoners should walk or cycle where possible and avoid busy times
Although Christmas will be different this year, most of the Transport for London (TfL) public transport network will be operating as usual over the festive period. While there will be some essential works to the road and rail and Underground networks, Londoners will still be able to get around with confidence in line with the latest Government guidance. TfL is advising customers to plan ahead and avoid the busier times by using its travel tools - including Journey Planner and TfL Go, the real-time travel app - which is now available on Android as well as iPhone.
TfL is doing its part to keep London moving throughout December by running most of its services and only carrying out safety-critical works on the road and Underground networks. This means that, in line with Government's guidance, Londoners will be able to use the network to visit friends and family in their Christmas bubbles on every day between 23 December and 27 December, apart from Christmas Day. Public transport is likely to be busy throughout the day on 23 and 27 December at public transport interchanges and National Rail stations, so customers are advised to plan ahead and avoid peak times. Roads are likely to be busy throughout the bubble period, especially between 24-26 December.
Passengers making long-distance journeys are asked to follow Network Rail advice on planning ahead and pre booking their journeys.
Santander Cycles are available 365 days a year and the central London Congestion Charge and the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will also not apply on Christmas Day when there are very few alternatives to cycling, driving, taxis or private hire vehicles.
Dial-a-Ride is operating every day, alongside Victoria Coach Station where coach services are operating throughout the Christmas and New Year period. Passengers are advised to check with their operator before traveling as revised timetables may be in place. The Emirates Air Line will be running every day except Christmas Day.
Although the vast majority of the network will be operating as usual, a few planned works and service changes will affect some parts of the public transport and road networks. These include:
- Planned closures on sections of TfL Rail and London Overground as well as parts of the District and Piccadilly lines
- Some Tube and Rail services closing earlier on Christmas Eve and no night buses running into Christmas morning, with last buses on 24-hour services at around midnight
- No service on the majority of public transport on Christmas Day (as usual)
- Most of the network will be running on Boxing Day, including London Overground, but some services will have a later than normal start
- Planned road works taking place in Camden, Victoria and on Whitechapel Road
- Tube and Rail services will not run all night on New Year's Eve, with services winding down shortly after midnight. Services will restart at around 5.30am on New Year's Day
Full details of the travel options and closures are on TfL's website - tfl.gov.uk/christmas-travel - allowing customers to plan their journeys throughout the period.
TfL has also published information about quiet stations and stops at tfl.gov.uk/quiet-times to help people travel through London during the quieter times and help maintain social distancing. The list will be updated regularly now that lockdown restrictions have lifted and parts of London are expected to become busier, particularly around shopping areas. Some trips to key shopping destinations may be less busy on weekdays, and customers are advised to retime their journeys where possible to prevent crowding on services.
An enhanced cleaning regime on London's transport network continues to make the network cleaner than ever. Trains and stations are cleaned with hospital-grade cleaning substances that kill viruses and bacteria on contact and providing ongoing protection. Recent independent testing, carried out by Imperial College London, has found - for the third month in a row - no trace of coronavirus on the Tube and bus network.
Extensive signage is in place on trains, trams, buses, platforms and stations, reminding everyone to remember to socially distance, and TfL's enforcement staff and its police partners are actively enforcing the national requirement for everyone to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth while in a station or travelling on public transport, unless they are exempt. The vast majority of customers have been complying with this requirement with compliance at around 90 per cent across the network. The police and TfL's enforcement officers are working hard to ensure that the minority who are not complying are targeted, and if necessary, refused entry to the network and fined.
Taxi and private hire services will continue to operate throughout the Christmas period, providing a convenient door-to-door service across the Capital. TfL has provided drivers with 1.5 million face masks and 30,000 bottles of Dettol hand sanitiser as well as providing guidance on how best to clean vehicles after each passenger is dropped off. There are also stickers that drivers can display to demonstrate that they are "Covid prepared".
Andy Byford, London's Transport Commissioner, said:
'We know the transport network may be busier on some days with people forming Christmas bubbles and doing their Christmas shopping, and we are running the majority of our services every day except Christmas Day. We're helping customers travel with confidence if they need to, and are providing lots of information about how to have a quieter journey.
'We already have plans in place to enable social distancing on our services, and have been enforcing the need to wear face coverings, along with the enhanced cleaning regime in place since March.
'I would advise customers to plan their journeys and check before they travel to ensure everyone can get around safely this festive period.'
With no fireworks or late-night hospitality, the Tube will not run all night and instead operate a normal weekday service on New Year's Eve. The bus network will operate a Saturday service, helping key workers who need to move around London throughout the night to do so. Tube and rail services operating will then restart at around 5.30am on New Year's Day.
In partnership with London's local authorities TfL has delivered the Streetspace for London programme, which will help Londoners walk and cycle safely while maintaining social distancing. TfL is also supporting car-free days on Regent Street on the first three Saturdays in December.
More than 22,500 square metres of temporary extra pavement space and 90km of new and upgraded cycle lanes have been delivered since May, making active travel a safer and easier choice than ever before.
Londoners keen to try cycling over the festive season can also use Santander Cycles, as TfL celebrates a successful decade of cycle hire in the capital. Today, there are 787 docking stations and more than 12,000 bikes. Santander Cycles can be hired from as little as £2 a day for an unlimited number of 30-minute journeys at docking stations or using the free Santander Cycles app.
Notes to editors
- Dial-a-Ride will be in operation on Christmas Day and New Year's Eve between 07:00 and 01:00. On all other days in the period, services will end at 20:00.
- River Operators will run throughout the festive period with the exception of Christmas Day. Please check TfL and operator websites for full details.
- For the second year, the London Overground North London Line and East London Line will operate on Boxing Day with services from around 09:00 until 22:00.
- The Tube will operate a normal weekday service on New Year's Eve, which means that service will wind down shortly after midnight. Services will restart at around 5.30am on New Year's Day.
- The bus network will operate a Saturday night level of service on New Year's Eve, helping customers move around London throughout the night.
- There will be no free travel on New Year's Eve this year.
- The central London Congestion Charge and ULEZ will be in operation every day except from Christmas Day. The central London Congestion Charge operates seven days a week, 07:00-22:00 and the Ultra Low Emission Zone operates seven days a week, 24 hours a day. The Low Emission Zone (LEZ) is also in operation 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
- NHS Trust and care home workers may be able to claim the central London Congestion Charge reimbursements. Some NHS patients may be able to claim the central London Congestion Charge and Ultra Low Emission Zone reimbursements from their participating, treating hospital.
- Full details of the works and closures can be found here: tfl.gov.uk/christmas-travel
- Check before you travel on real-time TfL channels for the latest information on how the network is running, including on TfL Go, the real-time travel app, which is now available on Android and iPhone.