Elizabeth Line at Bond Street opens TODAY

Elizabeth Line at Bond Street opens TODAY: Station finally goes into service with trains running every five minutes and 140,000 commuters expected to pass through every day

  • The Elizabeth Line has begun calling at the Bond Street Station with the first service arriving at 5.47am
  • Trains will run every five minutes as 140,000 commuters expected to pass through the station every day 
  • Sadiq Khan praised the ‘spacious, stylish’ station which is running five months after rest of the line opened

The Bond Street stop on London’s new Elizabeth line has finally opened today after four years of delays and £500 million over budget.

Train enthusiasts travelled from across the country and queued in the early hours to be the first to ride the debut service which arrived at the newly opened branch at 5.47am.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, praised the ‘spacious, stylish and step-free station’ at Bond Street as it opened this morning, five months after the rest of the line went into service.

He said: ‘I’m delighted to be here today as the spectacular new Elizabeth line station at Bond Street opens to passengers for the first time.

‘The spacious, stylish and step-free station at Bond Street is a huge boost for our retail and hospitality businesses and will radically improve travel across London and the South East by providing a new link to one of the busiest shopping districts in Europe ahead of the festive period.

‘I can’t wait for Londoners and visitors to our capital to experience this beautiful new station for themselves.’

From today, there will be a train service every five minutes, increasing to every three to four minutes at peak times from Sunday, November 6.

There will be no service on Sunday, October 30, but a week later the Elizabeth line will run services seven days a week. 

Around 140,000 passengers are expected to pass through the station every day, with more than double the number of people currently using Bond Street station expected to visit the area. 

Left to right: Nigel Holness, managing director of MTR Elizabeth Line, Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, Andy Byford, TfL commissioner, at the opening of the Bond Street Elizabeth Line branch

Sadiq Khan praised the ‘spacious, stylish’ station which is running five months after rest of the line opened 

The first commuters were also treated to a live performance by Rosie Graham, who performed a song from the National Theatre’s new musical version of Sleeping Beauty, Hex.

Today’s opening of Bond Street Elizabeth line station, hailed the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the West End’s transport provision, marks the completion of the last of the 10 new stations on the railway. 

The new station is set to relieve congestion at nearby stations in the busy shopping district, such as Oxford Circus, and make central London more accessible ahead of Black Friday and the festive period.

The separate sections of the Elizabeth line, from Reading, Heathrow and Shenfield, are set to be joined with the central stretch from Sunday, November 6.

The new railway began running in May, but trains have not called at Bond Street due to delays completing the station

The Bond Street stop on London’s new Elizabeth line has opened today, with the first service calling at the new station arriving at 5.47am

From an abundance of natural light to bronze used throughout: Bond Street Elizabeth Line’s design features 

– The new station is step-free from street to train with two lifts to street level

– Station set to accommodate nearly 140,000 passenger journeys daily 

-There are two brand new spacious ticket halls, with an abundance of natural light

– Both entrances feature columns, which blur the line between interior and exterior spaces

– Red sandstone has been used at the Davies Street entrance whereas pale Portland stone has been used at Hanover Square

– Bronze is used throughout the station, in ticket halls to frame ventiliation grilles between columns

– The escalator at the Hanover Square entrance is the longest escalator on the Elizabeth line, at 60-metres long, making it the second longest on the TfL network at just one metre behind the escalator at Angel Underground Station

–  British artist Darren Almond has created three abstract artworks for the spaces above and around the new Bond Street station western ticket hall escalators

– Upon exiting the eastern ticket hall at Hanover Square, there is a revamped green space: Medici Courtyard, the first public courtyard to open in Mayfair for more than a century

This will mean commuters will no longer have to change trains at Paddington or Liverpool Street.

The new station is step-free from street to train with two lifts to street level, further enhancing accessibility across the TfL network.

Mr Khan was joined this morning by Transport Minister Katherine Fletcher, and Transport Commissioner Andy Byford, who is due to leave his post at the end of this month. 

Ms Fletcher said: ‘Just five months after officially opening, the Elizabeth line has shown itself to be a beacon of British success, delivering more than 54 million journeys and creating 55,000 jobs.

‘The opening of Bond Street station is only set to build on this success, servicing over 140,000 people a day and better connecting Londoners to the UK’s biggest shopping areas and the heart of the legendary West End.

‘I’m delighted to be here today and immensely proud of the role the Government has played in making this a reality through our £9 billion investment.’

Mr Byford added: ‘This new station is the jewel in the crown of the West End’s transport provision. It is truly spectacular.

‘I promised that Bond Street would open in autumn, and we have delivered on that promise.

‘It is now set to serve as a significant new link to one of the most popular shopping districts in Europe, just in time for the busy festive period this year.

‘When I came to TfL I set two clear priorities, one of which was to get the Elizabeth line open without further delay.

‘Today’s opening, after years of hard work, marks the completion of the central section of the Elizabeth line, which now includes 10 world-class new stations.

‘I am also pleased that through journeys from the east and west into central London are now less than two weeks away.

He continued: ‘It has been a huge privilege to have served as the Transport Commissioner for this incredible city. I am proud to have worked alongside a great team to get this station open and complete the railway.

‘I encourage everyone to visit and use it as our capital continues to chart a bright future.” 

Meanwhile Ros Morgan, chief executive of the Heart of London Business Alliance, said: ‘It’s fantastic news for the West End that the Elizabeth line is reaching another milestone with the opening of Bond Street station.

‘This step-change in improving connectivity and accessibility comes at a time when our members need it the most.’

Dee Corsi, the New West End Company’s interim chief executive said the opening will ‘further enhance our district and encourage continued investment’.

She added it will enhance the ‘importance of London’s West End to Britain’s economy.’ 

Bennie Gray, founder of Grays Antiques, said: ‘Crossrail is an astonishing engineering achievement which is right up there with the work of Brunel and Stephenson.

‘Having watched the construction unfold on our doorstep, our family of 100 antique and jewellery dealers are overjoyed at the opportunity for connectivity that this new station opening will bring with it.

‘We hope to welcome Christmas shoppers from far and wide through our doors on Davies Street.’

STAGE 1: Since launching on May 24, the line has been running in three different sections – from Reading or Heathrow to Paddington; Paddington to Abbey Wood via Liverpool Street; and Liverpool Street to Shenfield. The green section is the new project

STAGE 2: The second stage, from November 6, will ensure the services from Reading or Heathrow towards Paddington can run all the way through to Abbey Wood via Liverpool Street. At this stage, there will also be trains running direct from Paddington to Shenfield, also via Liverpool Street

STAGE 3: The final milestone will be ‘no later than May 2023’, when the full timetable will allow passengers to travel without changing across the entire line from Reading to Shenfield or Abbey Wood

The majority of the Elizabeth line had its grand unveiling in May, but trains have not called at Bond Street due to construction issues dating back to 2014, which delayed the station’s completion.

Problems, including tunneling issues, meant the station was at one point 18 months behind the rest of the stations that sit on the central section of the line and in 2019 it was announced the station would likely open at a different time.

The delays even resulted in Crossrail paying £19 million to contractors to end its involvement with the project in 2020, however it saw further setbacks as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The problem-hit tube stop has seen major costs increases that left it at least £549million over budget.

Ahead of today’s opening, the station underwent final preparations last week including trial evacuations, testing of fire control systems and extensive security checks.

The new central section, built by the Crossrail project, runs through tunnels from Paddington in west London to Abbey Wood

However, numerous issues – including construction difficulties and complications installing signalling systems – left builders behind scheduled for several years.

Following the multitude of setbacks, the station was ‘decoupled’ from the delivery of the Elizabeth line, allowing the route to open without the stop.

 The Elizabeth line was named in honour of the late Queen. The monarch visited the line on May 17 when she unveiled a plaque to mark its grand opening

The line – which stretches from Reading in Berkshire and London Heathrow Airport to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in Essex – was always planned to initially run in three separate sections.

The first section was integrated in May, the second will begin next month and the third in 2023.

The Crossrail project was due to be completed in December 2018 and was set a budget of £14.8 billion in 2010.

The final total cost for the project has been estimated at £18.9 billion, including £5.1 billion from the Government.

The delivery of the problem-hit Bond Street station seemed to utilise a large portion of the budget. 

Figures released by the National Audit in July 2021 revealed the cost of the station increased by 595 per cent, with an expected price tag of £660million. Initial plans estimated £111million for the station protect. 

The Elizabeth line was named in honour of the late Queen. The monarch visited Paddington station in May when she unveiled a plaque to mark the completion of Crossrail.

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