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London to face ‘unprecedented travel demand’ as people pay respects to the Queen

London will experience ‘unprecedented travel demand’ in the coming days as people visit the capital to pay their respects to the Queen, transport bosses warned (Nick Moore/Alamy Stock Photo/PA)
London will experience ‘unprecedented travel demand’ in the coming days as people visit the capital to pay their respects to the Queen, transport bosses warned (Nick Moore/Alamy Stock Photo/PA)

London will experience “unprecedented travel demand” in the coming days as people visit the capital to pay their respects to the Queen, transport bosses warned.

Public transport users are being advised that the city will be “exceptionally busy” and they should expect Tube stations to temporarily close to avoid overcrowding.

Planning journeys in advance using the latest information “will be essential”, according to a joint statement by Network Rail, Transport for London and industry body the Rail Delivery Group.

The organisations said: “As Her Majesty’s coffin travels to London to lie in state at the Palace of Westminster, it is expected that we will see unprecedented travel demand in the capital, especially from Wednesday 14 September.

“Transport providers have well-developed plans with extra staff and services coming on-stream to help people get to where they need to be.”

London Underground passengers are urged to avoid Green Park station “if possible” due to “high numbers of customers passing through”.

It is the nearest station to Buckingham Palace, but other nearby options include Victoria, Piccadilly Circus and St James’ Park.

Crossrail
The Queen opening Elizabeth line in May. A section of the line which is normally closed on Sundays will run a special service to ease pressure (Andrew Matthews/PA)

A special service will run on the Elizabeth line railway between London’s Paddington and Abbey Wood on Sunday to ease the pressure on other parts of the transport network.

That section of the line – which was opened by the Queen in May – is usually closed on Sundays due to testing and software updates.

Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy said: “The transport industry is working hard to help people pay their respects in London and across the United Kingdom.

“Please make sure you check before you travel as we expect the road and transport networks to be busy.”

London’s transport commissioner Andy Byford said: “At such an important and difficult time for the country, we are doing everything we can to ensure Londoners and visitors can pay their respects to Her Majesty the Queen and welcome His Majesty the King.

“We are working with our partners to keep our city moving smoothly and to ensure that everyone who needs to get around or is planning to attend the memorial events can do so safely.

“I would urge all customers to check before they travel, using the TfL website or TfL Go app, as while we’re planning to run a normal service, there may be short notice changes and diversions as a result of the large number of people travelling and necessary road closures.”