Advertisement

More than 150 million journeys made on Elizabeth line since opening a year ago

More than 150 million journeys have been made on the Elizabeth line since it opened a year ago, it was revealed on Monday.

The line is used for about 600,000 trips each weekday – including about 140,000 “additional journeys” that would not have been made by rail had the £20bn line not opened.

Transport for London said these extra trips included passengers who previously travelled by car, some who did not travel at all or worked from home and those who used other forms of public transport, such as train services run by other firms.

About 30 per cent of passenger demand on the line is attributed to post-pandemic “accelerated recovery”, and about 13 per cent from passengers transferring off other train lines, such as Southeastern.

About 30 per cent of Heathrow passengers are people who would previously have used the Heathrow Express, which is twice as fast but almost double the cost. There are now six Elizabeth line trains an hour to the airport.

Peak services on the Elizabeth line today increased from 22 to 24 trains an hour in central London, marking the final stage in its staggered opening programme.

This means that there is a train in each direction between Paddington and Whitechapel every two-and-a-half minutes.

There will be 16 trains an hour in each direction off-peak.

Direct services to and from Heathrow and Shenfield have also been introduced, while the “dwell” of up to seven minutes for eastbound passengers waiting on Network Rail tracks outside Paddington has been reduced.

The popularity of the line, which opened on May 24 last year, has increased from 2.5m to 3.5m passengers a week, resulting in a £30m additional fares bonanza for TfL. It is the busiest railway in the UK and one of the most reliable.

Tottenham Court Road station has seen the biggest growth since the line opened, with more than 100,000 additional journeys a day, more than doubling its usage.

Farringdon, Whitechapel and Abbey Wood have also seen large rises in demand with 100,000, 60,000 and 30,000 extra journeys respectively.

Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “A year since opening, the Elizabeth line has transformed travel across London and the South East and is now the most popular railway in the country.

“The Elizabeth line is the most significant addition to our transport network in decades and has proven to be much more than just a new railway – providing a crucial economic boost to the whole country and playing a vital role in drawing people back on to London’s public transport.”

TfL commissioner Andy Lord said: “The Elizabeth line has clearly demonstrated the value of investing capital in London’s transport infrastructure.”