Commuter heaven: London's Elizabeth Line is declared a success in its first few months

About 22 million journeys have been made across the line since it opened on May 24

A poll suggests that a quarter of Londoners have made at least one journey on the Elizabeth Line. Bloomberg
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Perhaps its air-conditioning in all cars hit the Zeitgeist in a summer when the temperature rose to a record 40ºC in London but the capital's latest subway route, the Elizabeth Line, has been declared a success by its operators and the public.

About 22 million journeys have been made across the line, according to Transport for London, including more than 11 million in the new central tunnels, while a quarter of Londoners have told pollsters that they have used the Elizabeth Line since it opened two months ago, a survey suggests.

The YouGov poll indicates 24 per cent of the capital’s residents have made at least one journey on the £19 billion railway line and of this group, more than a third said they took a special trip out of their way to see what it was like.

TfL said it had received “great feedback” about the line, which is named in honour of Queen Elizabeth II.

People aged 25 to 49 are most likely to have used it (28 per cent), followed by those aged 18 to 24 (25 per cent), 65 and above (20 per cent) and 50 to 64 (17 per cent).

Hundreds of transport enthusiasts travelled on the first trains when the line opened on May 24.

The route stretches from Reading, in Berkshire, and Heathrow Airport, in west London, to Abbey Wood, in south-east London, and Shenfield, in Essex.

It runs via new tunnels built by the Crossrail project between Paddington in west London and Abbey Wood.

The railway is initially operating in three separate sections, which are expected to be integrated in the autumn.

TfL chief operating officer Andy Lord said the system was a boon to a city struggling to recover from the pandemic. “Huge numbers of people have come to see our fantastic new railway, using it to travel across London to see friends and loved ones, commute to work and visit the many sights and attractions the city has to offer," he said.

The Elizabeth Line opens — in pictures

“More than 11 million journeys have been made between Paddington and Abbey Wood — that is more than 200,000 daily journeys," he added. “We are already receiving great feedback from our customers who have been impressed by the new stations and direct journeys they can make.

“It won’t be long before we will be running services directly into central London from Reading, Heathrow and Essex this autumn.”

Crossrail suffered numerous issues, including construction difficulties and complications in installing signalling systems.

The line was due to be completed in December 2018, with a budget of £14.8bn having been set in 2010.

The final cost has been estimated at £18.9bn, with £5.1bn coming from the national government and the rest from its London stakeholders.

The YouGov survey of 1,306 adults in London was conducted from July 15 to July 22.

Queen Elizabeth marks the completion of the Elizabeth Line — in pictures

Updated: July 29, 2022, 10:52 AM