Huge transport operation as a million mourners are expected in London for the funeral
One of Britain’s biggest transport operations takes place on Monday when mourners arrive in London for the Queen’s funeral.
Transport for London (TfL) is preparing to welcome around a million people to the capital.
Around 250 additional rail services will operate – including some night trains – and National Highways has suspended planned motorway closures across England.
There are fears the transport network will be congested on Monday afternoon when too many people visiting the capital head home immediately after the funeral procession leaves Westminster just after midday.
Mourners are urged to postpone their return journey and to check for travel updates.
TfL boss Andy Byford said the capital had seen “a huge number of additional passengers” since the Queen’s death on September 8 but demand would “reach a peak” on Monday.
He told the PA news agency: “We are poised for what is probably one of the busiest days Transport for London has ever faced.
“It is difficult to say how many additional people will travel but we are preparing for potentially a million people just within the footprints of the Royal Palaces and Hyde Park.”
Mr Byford said TfL is “leaving nothing to chance” as non-essential meetings are postponed and people from across the organization are working to ensure visitors can “get around town”.
Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy warned the trains would be “extremely busy”.
He said: “This is the largest public transport company since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and we are working closely with all train operators to have additional trains running during the day and into the night.
“To help us deliver the best possible experience and to avoid long queues at stations, we are asking people not to rush home after the funeral and processions, but to take their time and experience London on this memorable day .”
Network Rail has postponed engineering work and is keeping its London stations open overnight to provide shelter for mourners who are struggling to get home.
Night trains only serve limited destinations, mainly within the M25.
Stationary trains are used in the early hours as waiting areas for people waiting to catch a train home.
Elderly and vulnerable mourners are given preferential treatment.
National Highways deploys additional traffic cops on motorways and major A-roads around London to patrol, keep vehicles moving and assist emergency services in dealing with incidents.
Three Tube stations – Westminster, St James’s Park and Hyde Park Corner – will be closed for most of Monday morning to avoid overcrowding.
Many local roads in London will be closed, diverting buses and closing Victoria Coach Station.
Passengers arriving at long-distance train stations are advised to continue their journey on foot rather than using public transport.
More than 100 flights to Heathrow Airport will be canceled to prevent aircraft noise from disrupting procedures at Westminster Abbey and Windsor Castle.
West London Airport said 15% of its 1,200 flights scheduled to take off or land on Monday are being suspended.
British Airways – the hardest-hit airline – canceled 100 short-haul flights because of the restrictions.
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https://www.newschainonline.com/news/major-transport-operation-as-one-million-mourners-expected-in-london-for-funeral-293262 Huge transport operation as a million mourners are expected in London for the funeral