Three subway stations to close before Queen’s funeral to avoid overcrowding

Three subway stations to close before Queen’s funeral to avoid overcrowding

Three tube stations in central London will be closed on the morning of the Queen's funeral to prevent overcrowding (Kirsty O'Connor / PA) (PA Archive)

Three tube stations in central London will be closed on the morning of the Queen’s funeral to prevent overcrowding (Kirsty O’Connor / PA) (PA Archive)

Three tube stations in central London will be closed on the morning of the Queen’s funeral to prevent overcrowding.

Transport for London (TfL) announced on Monday that passengers will be prevented from starting or ending journeys at Westminster, St James’s Park and Hyde Park Corner stations for “most of the morning”.

The transport authority said it “will aim to reopen the stations” after the funeral at Westminster Abbey – which will be held around noon – to help people leaving the Westminster area.

Green Park Station will only be available at the exit between 10:00 and 20:00.

Many buses in central London will be diverted due to road closures and London Victoria bus station will be closed.

The “best option” for passengers arriving at major train stations will be to continue the journey on foot rather than using public transport, TfL said.

London Transport Commissioner Andy Byford said TfL “works around the clock” to ensure that mourners traveling to the capital can pay their respects to the queen.

He continued: “London will be very busy on Monday and there may be short notice changes and queues to enter stations due to the large number of people traveling.

“We will perform a safe, reliable and frequent service to ensure that everyone can return home safely after paying homage.

“We would like to encourage people to consider using the wide range of facilities open throughout London for post-state funeral refreshments.

“In addition to allowing time to continue paying tribute, this will help ensure smoother return journeys for all.”

London’s Network Rail stations will remain open overnight to provide shelter for people waiting for trains to return home.

These include Charing Cross, Euston, King’s Cross, Liverpool Street, Victoria and Waterloo.

A full timetable will operate on weekdays, with approximately 250 additional services, including some night trains that mainly serve destinations within the M25.

Extra services have been added to online travel planners.

Stationary trains will be used as overnight waiting areas in some stations as they are “the last resort”, with mourners being invited to board by station staff.

Priority will be given to the elderly and vulnerable people.

Long-distance services are expected to be busier in the late afternoon and evening after the funeral.

Passengers traveling shorter distances are encouraged to delay the journey home to relieve pressure at stations.

Network Rail President Sir Peter Hendy said: “The railway will be extremely busy on Monday, particularly on the routes to London.

“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.

“Passengers should continue to check with their rail operator on Twitter or National Rail Inquiries before heading home for all the latest updates on the rail service.”

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

He advises drivers to avoid going home immediately after the funeral “to avoid the busier mid-afternoon period” and to check the National Highways website for travel updates.

There was a 6% increase in traffic on Thursday using six stretches of motorway to London compared to the same day last week.

TfL also announced that buses will stop “if it is safe and practical to do so” and shut off their engines during the one-minute silence on Sunday at 20:00 and the two-minute silence on Monday around 11:55.

Most of the planned closures of major roads serving London have been suspended until Tuesday to reduce congestion.

Road closures and bus diversions in London will continue for much of next week as the removal of barriers and other event infrastructure is expected to take several days.

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 stopped.

British Airways, the most affected airline, will cancel 100 short haul flights due to restrictions.

Virgin Atlantic said it will cancel four flights.

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