Are trains and buses running on September bank holiday? Public transport service plans for Queen’s funeral
The latest information on how bus, rail, air and road travel will be affected by the Queen’s funeral on 19 September.
Transport chiefs have confirmed bank holiday travel plans for rail, air and bus services for the Queen’s funeral.
An estimated one million people are expected to travel to London and Windsor to pay their respects on 19 September, raising questions over whether public transport will be running.
The influx of mourners has presented the capital’s transport system with its biggest ever challenge, according to Transport for London (TfL) commissioner Andy Byford, and seen extra services put on into and around the city, including a limited number of overnight trains.
But will trains and buses run on the Queen’s bank holiday? Here’s everything you need to know.
Will trains be running?
Although rail operators normally run a reduced service on bank holidays, several train operating companies have confirmed that they will run a normal weekday service to help deal with the large number of people expected to travel.
Some, including GWR also plan to put on additional services earlier and later in the day to help travellers get into and out of London. Off-peak restrictions will not apply on the bank holiday.
People hoping to travel to either London or Windsor, where the Queen will be laid to rest, are being warned to plan ahead, book travel in advance and expect services to be far busier than usual.
Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy said: “The transport industry is working hard to help people pay their respects in London and across the United Kingdom. Please make sure you check before you travel as we expect the road and transport networks to be busy.”
Rail companies have also said it will not be possible to view both the funeral in London and travel to Windsor on the same day and urged mourners to choose one location.
On Monday morning, train services at Paddington station were suspended, disrupting the journeys of thousands of mourners attempting to reach London or Windsor.
Great Western Railway (GWR) said all lines between the west London station and Slough, Berkshire, are blocked due to damage to overhead electric wires.
The problem at Hayes and Harlington station was reported at around 6.45am. It is affecting journeys for passengers travelling from Reading and Heathrow Airport.
Services run by GWR, Heathrow Express and the Elizabeth line are disrupted. The issue means many mourners hoping to secure a position to see the funeral procession could now arrive too late.
The lines between Reading and Newbury are also closed due to a person being hit by a train. This is causing GWR trains to be diverted, delaying journeys to the capital.
Will the London Underground be running?
TfL has said that Tube services will operate as normal during the national mourning and bank holiday but warned that they will be far busier than usual and temporary restrictions could be put in place to cope with overcrowding.
Some stations around Buckingham Palace and Westminster will be closed including: Westminster, Green Park and Hyde Park Corner.
TfL commissioner Andy Byford commented: “This is the biggest event and challenge that TfL has faced in its history, and we must rise to that challenge.
“I would urge all customers to check before they travel, using the TfL website or TfL Go app, as while we’re planning to run a normal service, there may be short notice changes and diversions as a result of the large number of people travelling and necessary road closures.”
Will there be bus and coach services?
Coach services into and out of London are expected to run on a normal schedule on bank holiday Monday but will not stop at London Victoria Coach Station.
Most National Express services will terminate at Wembley Stadium instead of Victoria, while Megabus routes will start and end at Hillingdon.
Within London, most bus services will operate a full timetable but some are expected to be disrupted due to road closures.
TfL has warned that due to road closures, some routes in central London, particularly in the Westminster area, will be diverted or will stop short of their destination and may be running a reduced service.
Will flights be delayed?
Flights to and from London Heathrow are expected to be disrupted on Monday.
More than 100 flights from Heathrow Airport have been cancelled to prevent aircraft noise disturbing the services at Westminster Abbey and Windsor Castle.
A statement from the airport said: “Passengers will be notified by their airlines directly of any changes to flights.
“We anticipate further changes to the Heathrow operation on Monday September 19, when Her Majesty’s funeral is due to take place, and will communicate those in more detail over coming days.
“We apologise for the disruption these changes cause, as we work to limit the impact on the upcoming events.”
What about the roads?
National Highways has already paused planned works on the M25, M11, M3, M4 and M23 and plans to postpone all other scheduled closures throughout the bank holiday weekend.
It has also said that “where possible” existing road works will be removed from Friday 16 to Tuesday 20 September.
John McNeill, head of service delivery in the east of England for National Highways, said: “We expect the roads to be busy with people looking to travel into the capital and to other royal residences over the weekend.
“Our traffic officer patrols will be out on the network to help anyone who might get into difficulty, but it’s important people remember to check their vehicle before setting off. The last thing anybody wants on the way to their destination is to have a vehicle breakdown.”