London underground marks the busiest day in its history
The iconic London ‘Tube’ has broken records with the busiest day in its history.
Millions of Londoners depend on the Underground to get to work, enjoy their social lives and keep customers coming back to their businesses. It’s the lifeblood of the capital. So it’s hardly surprising that anyone who has spent any time in the capital is used to seeing crowded carriages, especially in peak commuter periods.
However, Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed that last Friday (November 14th) was officially the busiest day in the history of the Tube. A total of 4.576 million journeys were made on the underground network, far surpassing the 4.544 million journeys made on the previous record day. Considering that this was August 7th, 2012 in the midst of the Olympic Games, when tourists flocked the city in even greater numbers than usual, that’s quite an achievement.
The figures were helped by ‘Free Fare Friday’, an initiative run by MasterCard to encourage the use of contactless technology, but Friday’s figures were not an isolated incident.
Last week as a whole was impressive for the Tube. Overall, journeys rose by 7.1 per cent on the same period last year in what was the second busiest week since the Games.
London’s population is growing rapidly, and capacity is becoming more of a concern. Phil Hufton, chief operating officer of the Tube, says that the figures highlight the challenges involved in keeping London running.
“We are now carrying more passengers than ever before in our history and this clearly illustrates why it is crucial that we invest in the modernisation of the Tube network,” he explains.
New trains have formed part of the modernisation programme, but the bulk of the investment is going on upgrades to the lines themselves which will enable a 30 per cent rise in capacity, Mr Hufton explained.
Meanwhile, the Mayor of London’s office has brought forward a consultation on extending the Bakerloo line into underserved south London and redevelopment work is ongoing at some of the city’s major stations, including Victoria and Tottenham Court Road.
These projects will finally see the sites become step-free.
In response to calls for a 24-hour Tube service that have stretched back years, next year TfL is finally planning to launch Night Tubes – six trains an hour on several lines that are expected to give the city’s nightlife a boost. The Underground remains at the heart of the capital, and it’s hoped the new measures will keep it there.