Check before you travel this Christmas: Transport for London issues festive advice for residents in Sussex, Surrey and beyond
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TfL announced on Friday, December 8, that most of its services will continue running during the festive period.
But they said customers are advised to plan ahead to make sure they can ‘make the most of what’s on offer in the capital’.
A TfL spokesperson said: “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.”
TfL said 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, which includes Christmas Day. TfL said walking and cycling routes will be ‘largely uninterrupted’ apart from on New Year's Eve when certain central London roads will be closed.
TfL said: “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.”
TfL also announced that the central London Congestion Charge will not operate from Monday, December 25, to Monday, January 1, and will come back in from Tuesday, January 2. They said the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will not operate only on Monday, December 25, will come back in from Tuesday, December 26, across all London boroughs. TfL said the Low Emission Zone (LEZ), covering most of Greater London, will operate as usual, including on Christmas Day.
TfL said Winter Wonderland will be a ticketed event open to the public until Tuesday, January 2. Customers who want a quieter journey are advised to 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 will take place on various TfL routes and lines, including the Bakerloo and Waterloo & City, DLR, Elizabeth line and London Overground. Visit tfl.gov.uk/christmas-travel to find out more.
TfL and Network Rail also said they will use the quieter festive period to make improvements to rail tracks, 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: “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.”
TfL said that using a contactless or Oyster card means customers will only pay for the journey they make. They said that with the Hopper fare customers can make unlimited bus and tram journeys within an hour for £1.75.
People driving during the festive period are advised to plan ahead and take diversions around central London routes into account. There are planned engineering works on National Rail services, including closures at Fenchurch Street, Kings Cross and Paddington mainline stations, as well, TfL confirmed.