Major transport operation with one million mourners expected in London for the funeral

Major transport operation with one million mourners expected in London for the funeral

One of the UK's largest transport operations will take place on Monday as mourners descend on London for the Queen's funeral (Aaron Chown / PA) (PA Wire)

One of the UK’s largest transport operations will take place on Monday as mourners descend on London for the Queen’s funeral (Aaron Chown / PA) (PA Wire)

One of the UK’s largest transport operations will take place on Monday as mourners descend on London for the Queen’s funeral.

Transport for London (TfL) is preparing to bring around one million people to visit the capital.

Around 250 extra rail services will be operational, including some night trains, and National Highways has suspended planned motorway closures across England.

The transport network is feared to be overwhelmed on Monday afternoon if too many people visiting the capital return home soon after the funeral procession leaves Westminster shortly after noon.

Mourners are advised to delay their return trips and check for travel updates.

TfL boss Andy Byford said the capital has seen “a huge number of additional passengers” since the queen died on September 8, but demand “will peak” on Monday.

He told the PA news agency: “We are probably ready for one of the busiest days Transport for London has ever faced.

“It’s hard to say exactly how many more people (will travel), but we’re preparing for potentially a million people right within the footprint of the royal palaces and Hyde Park.”

Byford said TfL “leaves nothing to chance”, with non-essential meetings postponed and people from across the organization working to ensure visitors can “get around town”.

Network Rail President Sir Peter Hendy warned that the trains will be “extremely busy”.

He said: “This is the largest public transport operation since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and we are working closely with all rail operators to run extra trains during the day and night.

“To help us provide the best possible experience and avoid long lines at stations, we ask people not to rush home after the funeral and processions, but to take their time and experience London on this memorable day.”

Network Rail has postponed engineering work and keeps its London stations open overnight to provide shelter for mourners struggling to get home.

All night trains only serve limited destinations, mainly within the M25.

Stationary trains are used as waiting areas early in the morning for people waiting to catch a train home.

Priority will be given to elderly and vulnerable mourners.

National Highways is deploying additional traffic agents on the motorways and major A roads around London to carry out patrols, keep vehicles moving and assist emergency services in clearing accidents.

Three tube stations – Westminster, St James’s Park and Hyde Park Corner – will remain closed for much of Monday morning to avoid overcrowding.

Many local roads in London will be closed, causing buses to divert and Victoria Coach Station to close.

Passengers arriving at major train stations are advised to continue their journey on foot rather than using public transport.

More than 100 flights to Heathrow Airport will be canceled to prevent aircraft noise from disrupting work at Westminster Abbey and Windsor Castle.

West London Airport announced that 15% of its 1,200 flights taking off or landing on Monday will be disrupted.

British Airways, the most affected airline, has canceled 100 short haul flights due to restrictions.

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