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Friday, February 23, 2024

Five million journeys made in Northern Line Extension’s first year

Over five million passenger journeys have been clocked on the Northern Line Extension since it opened in September 2021, according to Transport for London’s (TfL’s) latest data.

The extension’s two new Tube stations, at Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station, have given a huge boost to the area’s connectivity, reducing journey times and helping to support the ongoing delivery of around 25,000 new jobs and more than 20,000 new homes.

Battersea Power Station is the busier of the two new stations with approximately 80,000 trips per week and almost 15,000 trips routinely recorded on the busiest day of the week (Wednesday). Nine Elms station attracts more than 40,000 trips each week and almost 8,000 trips on the busiest day. In June, TfL doubled the frequency of trains on the extension, from six to 12 trains per hour during peak times, and from five to 10 trains per hour at off-peak times. 

The latest modelling indicates that annual passenger journeys on the extension are predicted to continue growing and could reach up to 10 million trips per year in 2024/25. This is due to factors including London’s continued recovery from the pandemic, the ongoing growth and regeneration in the Battersea and Nine Elms areas, and the increased number of trains per hour on the extension, which is making it more popular with customers with reduced wait times. 

Battersea Power Station on the London Underground’s Northern Line Extension.

Key destinations for trips made from the new stations at Battersea and Nine Elms include Bank, London Bridge, Leicester Square and Waterloo. Analysis of journey times before and after the opening of the extension found it has led to an average 17-minute reduction in passenger journey times between the area and the City and West End, representing a decrease of almost 50%. 

Andy Lord, TfL’s chief operating officer, said: “We opened our new Northern line stations with great pride and excitement a year ago and it has been fantastic to see how quickly they have become part of the fabric of the city as people have returned in increasing numbers to the Tube network following the pandemic. Since June, we’ve doubled the number of trains serving the extension to give our customers a more frequent service to align with growing demand. Transport plays a critical role in opening up jobs, housing and leisure across the city, with these two new Tube stations clearly demonstrating how faster transport links help neighbourhoods develop and thrive.”

The new Tube station at Battersea sits next to the Grade II* listed Power Station, which will open its doors to the public for the first time in history on Friday 14 October as a new retail and leisure destination. It will include more than 100 shops, bars and restaurants, events venues, a unique chimney lift experience and office space – all of which will be easy to get to by Tube. Electric Boulevard, a new pedestrianised high street, will also open on the same day. 

Simon Murphy, CEO of Battersea Power Station Development Company, said: “The new Underground station has transformed the connectivity of Battersea Power Station and the wider area, with footfall to this new riverside neighbourhood we’re creating increasing significantly since last September. It will also play a key role in bringing visitors from across London and further afield to our family-friendly opening celebrations in just three weeks’ time and we look forward to seeing everyone there.”

A £1 billion package of infrastructure investment, including making streets in the area safer and more enjoyable for people walking, cycling and using public transport continues apace. It includes the redesign of a 2.5km stretch of Nine Elms Lane and Battersea Park Road to make it more attractive, accessible and people friendly.

TfL anticipates that the benefits of the Northern Line Extension will only be fully realised over the coming decades, with plans to carry out further analysis on wider benefits and long-term impacts.

Image credit: TfL

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