Things to Do in London- September

Things to Do in London- September

Need ideas for things to do in London this September? Read this to learn events happening all month and those that are limited dates.

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London buses given purple makeover ahead of Platinum Jubilee

London buses given purple makeover ahead of Platinum Jubilee

Eight London buses have been given a purple makeover to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Transport for London (TfL) said the vehicles began displaying their commemorative wraps on the capital’s roads on Friday.

The revamp was funded by operators Arriva, RATP, Abellio, Go-Ahead, Metroline, and Stagecoach.

A bus given a purple makeover
TfL said it hopes people will ‘enjoy looking out for our celebratory bus wraps’ (TfL/PA)

Passengers using the Elizabeth line, Jubilee line, or stations with a Royal link in their name will see and hear celebratory messages over the Jubilee weekend between Thursday, June 2, and Sunday June 5.

Station announcements and digital platform displays at stations such as Walthamstow Queen’s Road, Queensbury, and Royal Victoria will “help Londoners and visitors get into the party spirit”, according to TfL.

The organization’s chief operating officer Andy Lord said: “I hope that Londoners and visitors alike will enjoy looking out for our celebratory bus wraps and station activities while making the most of what the capital has to offer during the bank holiday weekend.”

Passengers are being warned to expect “short-term safety measures” such as queuing and closures of stations and roads due to the anticipated increase in travel over the long weekend.

Key interchanges are expected to be particularly busy on the Saturday night and Sunday daytime.

People should “avoid driving in central London” over the weekend as large events “are expected to cause travel disruption”.

The festivities will begin on the Thursday with Trooping the Colour, the sovereign’s official birthday parade.

TfL often carries out engineering work during bank holiday periods but there are no planned closures over the Jubilee weekend.

London buses given purple makeover ahead of Platinum JubileeLondontopia – The Website for People Who Love London

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Tube Histories: A Brief History of the Piccadilly Line

Tube Histories: A Brief History of the Piccadilly Line

In our next entry on the history of the various Tube lines, we explore the history of the Piccadilly Line, which hits some important spots in London from Heathrow Airport to Buckingham Palace.  As with many of the Underground’s lines, the Piccadilly Line has its start in the old underground railways that preceded the creation of the London Passenger Transport Board and the London Underground as we know it.  From its earliest days at the turn of the 20th century through to the 21st Century, we’ll take you on a journey down the dark blue line of Piccadilly and share its fascinating history.

The Piccadilly Line got its start at the advent of the first electric underground railways in 1906 with the creation of the Great Northern, Piccadilly, and Brompton Railway.  This railway itself was actually the merger of two railways that hadn’t been built and were linked with another section between Piccadilly Circus and Holborn.  An additional deep-level tube line was added between South Kensington and Earl’s Court to finish the GNP&BR route, with the line first opening in December 1906.  At the time, the ridership figures ended up being quite low as they were overtaken by the prior introduction of electric trams and busses. 

Not too many years after the line opened, the GNP&BR found itself merged with other electric railways into the London Electric Railway Company in 1910.  Also, that year, the line’s station at Earl’s Court had the first escalators installed on any underground line.  In 1912, the line got its first extension when it went past Hammersmith to Richmond along the District Railway line.  The act granting the extension received Royal Assent in 1913, but the outbreak of World War I caused the construction to be delayed until the 1930s.  Around the same time, an extension north past the terminus at Finsbury Park was discussed, and the London Electric Railways Company was absorbed with other Underground lines by the London Passenger Transport Board. 

It was with the formation of the London Underground that the railway transformed into the Piccadilly line, with its dark blue color denoting it on the map.  A year before, the first extensions opened westward, resulting in the Piccadilly Line splitting into two lines that went to Hounslow West and Uxbridge.  During World War II, at least a couple of stations were fitted with blast walls and converted into use by various governing boards.  In the decades post-war, the line was further extended northwards to Cockfosters, and in the 1970s, a new extension was made all the way to Heathrow Airport. 

The Piccadilly Line experienced its first major tragedy in 1987 when a fire began in the escalator shaft of the line’s still-wooden escalators at King’s Cross Station.  Within minutes, flame and smoke billowed out into the ticket hall, resulting in injury or death to nearly everyone there.  Thirty-one lives were lost that day, and shortly after, the escalators were rebuilt with metal to prevent another disaster.  In 2005, the Piccadilly Line experienced another loss when a suicide bomber detonated on the train between King’s Cross St Pancras and Russell Square as part of the 7/7 terrorist attacks.  The attack on the line resulted in the largest number of casualties that day at twenty-six lives lost.

But in spite of these terrible events, the Piccadilly Line celebrated its 100th anniversary in December 2006.  A couple of years later, the Piccadilly Line welcomed an extension to Terminal 5 at Heathrow, making it easier for airline passengers to get off their flight and head straight to the heart of the city.  Today the Piccadilly Line serves 210 million riders per year, making it the fourth-busiest line in the London Underground. 

Tube Histories: A Brief History of the Piccadilly LineLondontopia – The Website for People Who Love London

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Heathrow cap on passenger numbers will be extended to end of October

Heathrow cap on passenger numbers will be extended to end of October

Heathrow Airport has announced that it will extend its cap on passenger numbers for another six weeks as the aviation sector continues to struggle to cope with demand for travel.

No more than 100,000 travelers will be able to depart per day until October 29, the west London airport said.

It said the move was taken following an improvement in punctuality and fewer delays after introducing a temporary cap in July.

The capacity limit of 100,000 daily departing passengers was initially to last until September 11, but that date was pushed back on Monday.

Tens of thousands of flights have already been canceled this summer as the industry struggles to cope with the demand for air travel amid staffing shortages.

Many passengers flying to and from the UK’s busiest airport have suffered severe disruption in recent months, with long security queues and baggage system breakdowns.

Heathrow said the cap imposed in July had resulted in “fewer last-minute cancellations” and “shorter waits for bags.”

It added the capacity limits would be kept under review and “could be lifted earlier should there be a sustained picture of better resilience and a material increase in resourcing levels”.

Heathrow chief commercial officer Ross Baker said: “Our primary concern is ensuring we give our passengers a reliable service when they travel.

“That’s why we introduced temporary capacity limits in July, which have already improved journeys during the summer getaway.

“We want to remove the cap as soon as possible, but we can only do so when we are confident that everyone operating at the airport has the resources to deliver the service our passengers deserve.”

Heathrow cap on passenger numbers will be extended to end of OctoberLondontopia – The Website for People Who Love London

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A Brief History of the Northern Line

A Brief History of the Northern Line

Looking at the London Underground map, you might be forgiven for thinking there’s been a mistake and that you’re looking at two separate lines instead of one.  This is because the Northern Line has its origins in two separate railways that eventually merged into one even though they run on two parallel routes.  However, it might be a good thing that the Northern Line is two halves of a whole since it’s one of the busiest commuter routes in the city.  Enjoy delving into the complex history of the Northern Line with us, and you might learn some interesting things you never knew.

Going back to its earliest days, the Northern Line began with the City and South London Railway as well as the Charing Cross, Euston, and Hampstead Railway.  C&SLR first opened in 1890, and CCE&HR began running in 1907.  The C&SLR had the distinction of being London’s first electric railway, and its popularity meant that other Underground lines were quickly converted before the London Passenger Transport Board took over in 1933.  Despite its popularity, however, low ticket prices and constant extension construction kept its parent company in a precarious financial condition.  By comparison, the CCE&HR (also sometimes called the “Hampstead Tube”) was not as popular and similarly suffered from financial difficulties.

By 1913, the Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL) took control of both lines, but kept them as separate corporate entities.  The two were joined together in the 1920s in a series of works that linked them at several stations at Euston Station and Camden Town.  Such a joining had been planned much sooner, but was delayed by World War I, with construction starting in 1922 and finishing in 1924.  By 1926, new stations opened at Kennington and Waterloo, with the latter also providing a connection to the Bakerloo Line.  Now linked together, further extensions were made to Edgeware and Morden. 

After the London Passenger Transport Board took public ownership of all the underground railways and transformed them into the London Underground, it renamed the combined route as the Northern Line starting in 1937.  The name came from the Northern Heights extension, which was never completed but helped to simplify things for the LPTB and passengers alike.  Prior to that, it had a mismatch of different names, including the Edgeware, Highgate, and Morden Line in 1933 and then the Edgeware-Morden line only a year later.  Needless to say, the simplification of the name was certainly a welcome change.

Further extensions were made in the late 1930s, with the East Finchley station being the last in July 1939 before World War II put any future projects on hold.  Little work was done until the 1960s and 1970s and even then, the projects were not terribly ambitious.  It wouldn’t be until 1988 and the reconstruction of Angel Station that the Northern Line saw any major construction projects.  The redevelopment of the station would take about five years and not open until 1993.  Beyond that, another extension of the Northern Line did not take place until the extension from Kennington to Nine Elms and the former Battersea Power Station opened in September 2021. 

However, despite this, no further extensions north or south have been made, but it certainly doesn’t seem as if they’re needed.  Despite its complicated origins and merger, the Northern Line hasn’t experienced very many major incidents over its long history.  At a length of 36 miles, the Northern Line sees roughly 206,734,000 passengers per year.  In fact, for a simple two-hour period from 5 PM to 7 PM, 225,000 passengers each day.  Thus, this unassuming conjoined route holds onto the crown of being one of the busiest lines in the London Underground.

A Brief History of the Northern LineLondontopia – The Website for People Who Love London

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