TfL expects up to 1 million mourners in the London palace area for the Queen’s funeral

TfL expects up to 1 million mourners in the London palace area for the Queen’s funeral

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<p><figcaption class=Photograph: Aaron Chown / PA

Around 1 million people are expected to visit the central London area around the royal palaces for the Queen’s funeral, making it one of the busiest days ever for the capital’s transport network.

London Transport Commissioner Andy Byford said there have been “a huge number of additional passengers” using the services since the Queen’s death on 8 September, but demand “will peak” on Monday.

“We are 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 are preparing for potentially a million people right within the footprint of the royal palaces and Hyde Park, ”Byford said.

Visitors have been warned that the network could be overwhelmed if too many people return home soon after the funeral procession leaves Westminster shortly after noon, with transport chiefs urging mourners to delay their travels and check for updates of voyage.

Network Rail President Sir Peter Hendy said it was the largest public transport operation since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and warned the trains would be “extremely busy”.

“We are working closely with all rail operators to run extra trains during the day and night,” he said.

“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.”

The latest data from Trainline shows that demand for services for London on Monday is 56% above the level recorded for the same day the previous week. Rail companies including LNER and East Midlands Railway have warned that services to London will be heavily trafficked on Monday.

Passengers were advised to check for travel updates before traveling and, where possible, to reserve seats.

About 250 extra rail services will be operated on the day of the funeral, including some night trains, and Network Rail has postponed the engineering work.

London stations will be open overnight to provide shelter for bereaved people struggling to return home and stationary “welfare trains” will be used as waiting areas, with priority given to vulnerable and elderly visitors. All night trains only serve limited destinations, mainly within the M25.

National Highways has suspended planned motorway closures across England and will deploy additional traffic officers on motorways and A-roads around London to carry out patrols, keep vehicles moving and assist emergency services.

Three tube stations near the funeral – Westminster, St James’s Park and Hyde Park Corner – will remain closed for most of Monday mornings to avoid overcrowding.

TfL has warned that extra short-term security measures may be needed at other stations, including closures, queues, non-stop trains, and changes to station entrances and exits.

Buses will be diverted and Victoria’s bus station will be closed due to the closure of local roads, with bus services starting to move to alternative terminus around the capital from 4pm on Sunday.

Passengers arriving at London’s major train stations are advised to avoid public transport and continue their journey on foot.

More than 100 flights to Heathrow will be canceled to prevent aircraft noise from disrupting work at Westminster Abbey and Windsor Castle. The airport said 15 percent of its 1,200 flights taking off or landing on Monday would be disrupted.

Flights to and from the UK’s largest airport will be disrupted for half an hour on Monday to ensure the two minutes of silence are not disturbed. Arrivals in the early afternoon will be suspended to prevent planes arriving to land in the western part of the capital during the Queen’s hearse procession, and the airport will suspend take-offs later in order not to disturb the ceremonial procession to Windsor.

TfL services were busier than usual over the weekend as visitors arrived before the funeral. Travel on the subway on Friday, September 16, reached 3.02 million, up 9% from the previous week, and reached 5.29 million on Saturday, an increase of 8%.

London bus travel on Friday increased 5% to 5.33 million from the previous week and increased 3% on Saturday to 4.21 million.

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