How roads, rail and airports across the East of England are affected ahead of Queen's state funeral

The Coffin of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom arrives at Buckingham Palace in London, on September 13.
The Coffin of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom arrives at Buckingham Palace in London, on September 13, 2022 Credit: PA

Mourners hoping to travel to London to pay their respects to the Queen have been warned to prepare for "unprecedented" demand on the transport network.

Around a million people could travel to the capital to visit the late monarch as she lies in state for four days before her funeral on Monday.

Trains to London from Norwich, Colchester and Ipswich were facing delays and cancellations on Friday after overhead wiring was damaged between Ipswich and Manningtree.

Engineers working on site say they are hoping to have the problem fixed and normal services resumed by Saturday.

London Underground stations near Buckingham Palace have already seen a surge in passenger numbers since the Queen died on Thursday.

Tens of thousands of people from East Anglia are expected to make the journey, with transport bosses making changes on the roads and rail to accommodate the extra volume of travellers.

The boss of Transport for London (TfL), Andy Byford, said: "This is the biggest event and challenge that TfL has faced in its history, and we must rise to that challenge."

Map showing the queue for people wanting to pay their respects to the Queen as she lies in state.

Will trains be affected?

Strike action by Network Rail and 14 train operating companies planned for the 14-15 September and 26-27 September has been suspended out for respect for the Queen.

Engineering works affecting Greater Anglia services on Saturday 17 September and Sunday 18 September have been cancelled.

Train company C2C has confirmed it will be putting on extra services to allow as many people as possible to get to London.

Train operators and Network rail say they are working to provide as many services as possible so people can get to London to pay their respects.

Mourners are advised it will not be possible to view both the funeral in London and travel to Windsor, where Her Majesty the Queen will be laid to rest. People should plan to view one or the other and allow plenty of time to travel to either location.

Rail passengers are urged to leave extra time for their journeys and to expect very busy trains and stations.

A queueing systems may be in place at some stations and passengers may not be able to get the service they want on the way home.

Tube closures could take place at short notice on the day of the funeral.

There are no peak restrictions on the day of the funeral only.

Some tickets may be difficult to book while timetables are being finalised and some offers may not be available.

What is happening on the roads?

Planned closures of motorways serving London, including the M25, M11, M3, M4 and M23, have been paused until after the Queen’s funeral.

National Highways also said existing roadworks will be removed “where possible”, with cones and temporary signs withdrawn from 6am on Friday until the following Tuesday.

TfL is advising people to avoid driving in central London as road closures will be in place.

Will there be problems at airports?

London Stansted and London Luton airports are expected to operate as normal in the days ahead, with airlines running full flight schedules.

They are not following the lead of Heathrow, which has announced it will ground flights for nearly two hours around the Queen's funeral, to prevent planes flying over the service.

A Stansted spokesman said: "All passengers due to travel over the period are asked to follow all the usual advice as the airport is still very busy, including preparing correctly for security before they leave home, arriving at the terminal at the correct time stated by your airline (not too early or late), check for any possible road or rail disruption they may affect their journey to and from the airport, and if in any doubt, check with their airline for the latest flight information."

A spokesman for Luton added: “While we are expecting minimal disruption, details on any possible operational impact in relation to Her Majesty’s funeral on Monday 19 September will be confirmed over the coming days.

“Passengers travelling to the airport should contact their airlines directly for updates on any possible scheduling changes.

“The airport will observe the nationwide minute’s silence that will take place at 8pm on Sunday 18 September.”

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