Nearly half of Londoners have used London's £19bn Elizabeth line, survey reveals

Canary Wharf signage in place on the platform of the new Elizabeth Line at Canary Wharf station
Canary Wharf sign on the platform of the Elizabeth Line at Canary Wharf station Credit: PA

Nearly half of Londoners have used the Elizabeth Line since it opened in May 2022, a new survey suggests. The results of a YouGov poll indicate 45% of the capital’s residents have made at least one journey on the £19 billion railway. That is up from 24% in July last year. The latest survey – conducted in late January – suggested that people aged 18-24 are most likely to have used it (53%). That is followed by those aged 25-49 at 49%, falling to 39% for the 50-64 category and just 29% for Londoners at least 65 years old. The proportion of users who said they took a special trip out of their way to see what the railway was like has fallen from 37% in July 2022 to 25%, suggesting it has become more a part of people’s daily lives. Commercial property news site Bisnow reported earlier this month that flexible office company WeWork has experienced an increase in demand for its locations near Elizabeth Line stations since services began. Flexible bookings at those sites rose by an average of 28% between the railway’s opening and November last year.

The Elizabeth Line 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 tunnels built by the Crossrail project between Paddington in west London and Abbey Wood. More than 100 million journeys have been made on the line. Transport for London (TfL) said on February 1 that ridership is “above expected levels” with around 600,000 daily journeys. It added that the railway is “on track to break even” based on operating costs by the end of the 2023/24 financial year. Crossrail suffered numerous issues including construction difficulties and complications installing signalling systems. It was due to be completed in December 2018 and was set a budget of £14.8 billion in 2010. The final cost has been estimated at £18.9 billion, including £5.1 billion from the Government. YouGov questioned 1,258 adults in London from January 20-29.

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