Transport for London (TfL) have released full details of public transport arrangements for New Year’s Eve with many transport services running all night with free travel at the busiest periods thanks to sponsorship from NatWest and the Mayor of London.
Peter Hendy, Transport Commissioner, at TfL asked passengers "to plan their journeys in advance and allow plenty of time as there will be special arrangements in place, particularly in the West End and parts of Central London."
The changes to normal service patterns will have the greatest impact on those travelling to see the midnight fireworks display above the London Eye. Special arrangements have been made to deal with the large numbers of people expected to travel to the event, which will also be shown live on BBC1.
The main travel changes on New Year’s Eve are:
- Westminster Tube station will be closed from 9pm until around 3am
- Embankment Tube station will be closed from midnight until around 3am and passengers must exit north to Villiers Street. Police and stewards will be available to give directions
- Leicester Square Tube station is open for interchange and exit only from 7pm until around 12.15am
- Covent Garden Tube station is open for exit only from 7pm until around 3am
- Buses on routes through central London will be diverted as necessary from 7.30pm, when roads will be closed in the West End and around Waterloo. During this time, buses will continue running to destinations around the capital from key points at Aldwych, Green Park station, Hyde Park Corner, Lambeth North, Marble Arch, Tottenham Court Road (Centre Point) and Oxford Circus
- Access to Westminster bridge will be from south of the river only between 8pm and 1am; and
- There will be no pedestrian access to the footbridge at Embankment (Golden Jubilee Bridge) from 8pm until crowds have dispersed.
Passengers should listen out for any additional travel advice on the night as further station closures may be necessary for crowd control reasons.
Hendy asked Londoners to join in him "thanking our staff, and those of our contractors, who are forgoing their own New Year celebrations to keep transport services running all night" and asked passengers "to be patient and follow the directions of staff on the night to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all concerned. And please do take care while travelling on public transport, particularly after a few drinks."
A leaflet with full details of transport arrangements on New Year’s Eve is now available to download from the TfL website at www.tfl.gov.uk/nye or www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/downloads/pdf/new-years-eve-booklet-pages.pdf.
Mayor of London Ken Livingstone has also issued a News Year’s message inviting Londoners to enjoy the capital’s fireworks display which he described as "one of the highlights of the year."
Mr Livingstone said the display "will provide a spectacular backdrop to the capital’s celebrations and will be the first big event of 2007. The display will set the scene for another year of events in the most exciting city on earth and the experiences we want people to have in the build up to the 2012 Olympic Games."
"However you plan to celebrate, have a great night. My best wishes for 2007."