The majority of Transport for London (TfL) services will continue to run throughout the festive period but customers are advised to plan ahead to help ensure they are able to make the most of what’s on offer in the capital this December. Resources like TfL’s Journey Planner or the TfL Go app will help customers avoid closures caused by planned essential works across the transport network and navigate any last-minute service changes.
TfL services will be running over Christmas and New Year, but there will be no service on the majority of public transport on Christmas Day and no services on some parts of the network on Boxing Day including the Elizabeth line.
Apart from planned closures, services will run all night on New Year’s Eve. The Mayor’s annual fireworks display is taking place again this year with customers asked not to travel to the area in and around the Albert Embankment unless they have a ticket. Customers using services to travel on New Year’s Eve are subject to TfL’s published fares.
Victoria Coach Station, Santander Cycles, rental e-scooters and Dial-a-Ride along with taxi and private hire services will be available throughout the festive period including on Christmas Day. Walking and cycling routes will be largely uninterrupted aside from New Year’s Eve when roads in certain areas of central London will be closed, some Santander Cycle docking stations will be out of service, and some bridges will be closed to pedestrians to facilitate the Mayor’s fireworks display. The IFS Cloud Cable Car is open throughout the festive period with the exception of Christmas Day.
The central London Congestion Charge will not operate from Monday 25 December to Monday 1 January and will be back in operation from Tuesday 2 January 2024. The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will not operate on Monday 25 December only and will be back in operation from Tuesday 26 December, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day across all London boroughs. The Low Emission Zone (LEZ) which covers most of Greater London will continue to operate as usual including Monday 25 December.
Winter Wonderland will operate as a ticketed event again this year and will continue to be open to the public until Tuesday 2 January 2024. For a quieter journey, customers can travel to and from Bond Street, which is within a 15-minute walk of Hyde Park, or Victoria and Paddington, which are within a 20-minute walk of Hyde Park.
Planned closures are taking place on various TfL routes and lines including the Bakerloo and Waterloo & City lines, DLR, Elizabeth line and London Overground. Full details of all planned closures are available at tfl.gov.uk/christmas-travel.
Services during the festive period are typically quieter so TfL and Network Rail take this opportunity to make improvements to rail networks when it is expected to least inconvenience customers. These works include improvements to track, signals and stations as well as bigger schemes including HS2.
The Deputy Mayor for Transport, Seb Dance, said: “During the festive season, London has it all. I encourage everyone to make the most of the capital’s theatres, restaurants and markets – and London’s world class public transport is the best way to easily and safely get around the city. While most of the network remains open over the festive season, there are some planned works taking place, so I advise people to plan ahead and check their journey before they travel.”
Andy Lord, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: ”The festive season in London is a magical time. Whether you are coming to gaze at the fabulous Christmas lights, grabbing some gifts for family or loved ones, or making the most of the many pubs, restaurants, theatres and entertainment venues, or attending a sporting event, you can rely on TfL services to help you get there and make the most of your trip.
“The majority of London’s transport network will remain open over the festive season to help everyone make the most of the city, but customers are asked to check before they travel as some essential planned works will be taking place. We will be welcoming everyone with cheer and do all we possibly can to ensure that they can travel safely and smoothly.”
Simply touching in and out using a contactless or Oyster card means customers only pay for the journey they make. With the Hopper fare, customers can also make unlimited bus and tram journeys within an hour for just £1.75.
People driving during the festive period are advised to plan ahead as planned works could mean there will be diversions along routes in central London.
There are also planned engineering works on National Rail services, including closures at Fenchurch Street, Kings Cross and Paddington mainline stations. Customers planning to use National Rail services are also advised to check before they travel at www.nationalrail.co.uk/travel-information/christmas/.
Image credit: TfL