Motorists are being warned to avoid parts of the West End on New Year’s Eve because of road closures ahead of the midnight fireworks display. The authorities will start to shut some streets at 2pm. By 8pm, traffic will be banned from a large swathe of central London. The affected area stretches from Vauxhall Bridge in the west to Southwark Bridge in the east, Oxford St in the north and Elephant & Castle in the south.
People hoping to see the fireworks have again been urged to watch them on TV unless they have a ticket for one of the official viewing enclosures. City Hall has sold 100,000 tickets in a bid to cut the size of the crowd because of safety fears. An estimated half a million spectators lined the Thames last year.
The 11-minute display involving 12,000 fireworks costs £1.75m. City Hall failed to find a sponsor for this year’s event. Transport for London was also unable to secure sponsorship to fund the free travel which operates on the tube, buses, DLR and London Overground from 11.45pm.