Cheaper tickets and faster journeys as part of the official opening of the government-funded Elizabeth line

  • The Elizabeth Line is officially open to the public, cutting journey times and cutting thousands of travel costs by more than a third
  • the new line will bring £42bn to the UK economy and has created over 55,000 jobs across the UK
  • Backed by £9bn of government investment, the new line will support regeneration and new homes along the route

Thousands of commuters across London will see their travel costs cut by more than a third and journey times significantly reduced from today (24 May 2022) as the Elizabeth Line officially opens to the public.

Thanks to £9billion of government investment, almost half of the total project cost of nearly £19billion (and an additional £2.3billion investment from Network Rail), trains on the new line will reduce journey times from Abbey Wood to Paddington from 58 minutes to 29 minutes. They will also cut ticket prices by more than a third, from £6.30 to £4.30, saving passengers money at a time of rising costs, while facilitating growth long-term economy.

Bringing around £42billion to the UK economy, the state-of-the-art line will see each train carry up to 1,500 passengers, increasing central London rail capacity by 10%, transforming travel across the city and connecting communities locals to central London faster than ever.

To give life to this line, more than 55,000 jobs and 1,000 apprenticeship places have been created over the past 14 years, of which more than 5,000 have been given to the unemployed. Ninety-six per cent of the contracts for the project have been awarded to UK firms, with 60 per cent going to companies based outside of London – ensuring that taxpayers’ money used to build the line will benefit the whole of UK for decades to come.

Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps said:

As iconic as its namesake, the Elizabeth line is a beacon of British success, not just for this engineering marvel, but for the enormous benefits it brings to the whole nation with £42 billion for the UK economy and 55,000 jobs just 2 of many.

London’s transport network is its backbone and the £9 billion we’ve contributed to make the Elizabeth line a reality is yet another testament to our unwavering support for this wonderful city, its inspiring people and the millions of visitors it attracts each year.

All stations on the Elizabeth line between Paddington and Woolwich offer level access, with all 41 stations ultimately being step-free, ensuring everyone can enjoy cheaper and faster travel across London, plus great news stations on the road.

John Dickie, Managing Director of London First, said:

By connecting airports, offices, homes, shops and leisure activities faster, easier and more accessible, the Elizabeth Line will be transformative for Londoners and visitors alike.

This project is a clear demonstration of what can be achieved when businesses and all levels of government work together for the good of the national economy.

With a quarter of carbon emissions from transport and project supply chain contracts awarded nationwide, this is an investment in both a net zero future and leveling up. The Elizabeth line is a project the whole country can be proud of.

This £9billion investment in the Elizabeth Line is the latest example of the Government’s commitment to London and the transport network on which it depends. The opening follows nearly £5 billion in funding provided to Transport for London throughout the pandemic to keep vital transport services running.

This is on top of over £1billion extra for each year of last October’s spending review and a commitment to explore a long-term funding settlement, all at a time of significant financial pressure for the nation, as investment in UK infrastructure will boost productivity. and create jobs – contributing to a high-wage, high-skills economy.

Today’s opening follows an opening ceremony last week where Her Majesty The Queen unveiled a plaque at Paddington Station.

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