Public Transport in London at Christmas

by Melanie Waldman on December 8, 2010

by Melanie Waldman | December 8th, 2010  

If you’re going to be visiting London over Christmas, be aware that the public transport system goes into a kind of semi-hibernation during the holiday period, with some major changes in service.

Full details are available on the Transport for London website, but here are some of the main changes to keep in mind if you’re planning to (try and) get around town throughout the holidays.

CHRISTMAS EVE
24 DECEMBER

London Underground There’s a regular Sunday service normal Sunday closing times.
Buses A Sunday service, no night buses, and buses on the 24-hour routes will run until just after midnight
Docklands Light Railway Will have a revised Sunday service
Victoria Coach Station Reduced evening service – the last coaches will leave at 9pm
National Rail Reduced night service – the last trains will leave at 10pm

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CHRISTMAS DAY
25 DECEMBER

London Underground No services, all stations closed
Buses No daytime or night buses
Docklands Light Railway No service
Tramlink No service
Riverboats No service
National Rail No service
Gatwick Express Replacement coaches available between Victoria and Gatwick
Heathrow Express Replacement coaches available between Heathrow and Paddington
Taxis If you can find an available black cab, add an extra £4 holiday charge to the fare

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BOXING DAY
26 DECEMBER

London Underground There will be a reduced train frequency on all lines, the first trains in central London will be around 8:30am, there’s a Sunday schedule. Be aware that many stations will be closed all day.
Buses A Sunday service will operate from around 8:30am.
Docklands Light Railway Will operate a reduced service on all routes.
National Rail Only a very limited service will operate.
Tramlink A Sunday service will operate from 8:30am.
Riverboats Some services will available.
Tourist Bus The Big Bus Company and The Original Tour will be be open for business.
Gatwick Express Coaches will replace trains on this service.
Heathrow Express There will be an amended train service operating from Paddington.
Stansted Express A half-hourly train service will run.


{ 3 comments }

Anna November 14, 2011 at 5:55 am
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After 5 years living in London with no car, I find it totally and absolutely amazing that there is no public transport on Christmas Day. Is there another city in the world that does this?? Certainly where I grew up in Australia there was always public transport on Christmas Day. How on earth can this country justify this total lock-down of the capital on Christmas Day. Perhaps time to be realistic about this?

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Zaphia December 20, 2011 at 8:43 am
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I cant understand the reason for complete lockdown on xmas day. It’s totally ruined my plans. I will have to find a cab service or go stay over with my relatives if I want to spend xmas day with them. What about all those Londoners that remain in London on xmas!!!

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Ray December 24, 2011 at 6:06 am
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It’s pathetic that London Transport closes on Xmas day. I really do not understand this stance at all. On one hand, because many workers are not Christian and would be willing to work this day and could well do with the extra money in this time of recession, but also because it is supposed to be a public service, what sort of public service closes down when clearly many people could use it on this one day of the year.

To me this is also making it that I can’t visit my family without paying an exorbitant cab fare, and they slap an extra £4 on top! Come on TFL a public service actually means serving the people.

Happy Christmas.

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