City Hall says a “limited number” of tickets for this year’s New Year’s Eve fireworks celebrations will go on sale next month in a bid to make attending the event easier for tourists and those needing to plan further ahead.
The decision to introduce ticketing for last year’s event proved controversial, with London Assembly members complaining that it made the previously free display less affordable to many households.
Such criticisms were amplified when tickets instantly appeared on re-sale sites at vastly inflated prices as ‘scalpers’ sought to cash in.
However Mayor Boris Johnson said the move to ticketing was necessary to reduce the size of crowds which transport and police chiefs had warned were at risk of becoming unsafe.
A limited early release of the £10 tickets will be available from midday on 19th June via london.gov.uk/nye, with the “main batch” being released in September.
Mayor Johnson, said: “We are planning another stunning display to celebrate New Year and showcase London around the world.
“As in 2014 you will need a ticket, as part of our efforts to ensure the event is as safe as possible, but even if you do not have one there will be plenty of fantastic celebrations going on across the capital to help non-ticketholders bring in 2016 with a bang.”
Fiona Twycross, Labour’s economy spokesperson on the London Assembly, has called on the Mayor “to ensure there is a detailed plan to prevent touting and ensure Londoners are able to enjoy the New Year’s celebrations”.
She added: “When the Mayor introduced ticketing for the fireworks last year touts were able to make a killing on resale sites as a result of the lack of controls.
“Given that most Londoners won’t know their plans for New Year’s Eve yet we must prevent this early release becoming an opportunity for touts to stockpile tickets just to sell them on for profit later in the year.”