This London tube line has the most harmful dust

This London tube line has the most harmful dust


The tube can be a hot, busy and pretty stressful way to get about town – but plenty of Londoners rely on it day-in, day-out. So it’s definitely good to know how riding the tube might be affecting our health. 

And a study recently conducted by TfL can shed some light on that. The transport operator commissioned some research across eight tube lines to assess pollution levels, including levels of ‘respirable’ dust (which can reach deep into your lungs) and ‘inhalable’ dust (airborne material that enters the nose and mouth). So, what’s the research saying?

The Victoria, Piccadilly, Central, Northern, Jubilee, Bakerloo, Circle and District Lines were analysed – and ‘elevated particulate matter concentrations’ were found across all of them, according to the Standard. But there is some good news: nowhere breached even half the legal limits for dust, and dust levels found on station staff were around a tenth of the ‘harmful’ limit. 

Of course there were some lines and stations that had higher concentrations than others, and the highest average of all was recorded on (drum roll, please) the Northern Line. But, given this is the busiest line with some of the network’s busiest stations, we aren’t super surprised. 

The lowest concentrations were on the Jubilee, Circle and District Lines, but strangely it was Barking, a green line station, that had the highest single reading for dust. However, levels overall were lower last year compared to 2020. 

A separate study on inhalable metals at tube stations from 2023 was also pretty revealing. Vauxhall and Holborn had the highest readings for aluminium concentrations, Mile End and Oxford Circus had the highest for copper, and King’s Cross (specifically the northbound Northern Line platform) and Hampstead had the highest for iron oxide. But still, no unsafe levels were recorded. 

On the fact that dust levels have lowered, Lilli Matson, TfL’s chief safety, health and environment officer, said: ‘While we’ll continue our work, this positive result demonstrates our approach to understanding and tackling the issue of dust and air quality on the Tube network is making a difference, both for our colleagues and our customers.’

So, while the presence of potentially harmful dust and metals might trigger the urge to fish out a dreaded mask of some kind, it sounds like measures are being taken to make sure the tube continues to be safe for its employees and passengers. 

For more updates on the London Underground, keep an eye on Time Out’s London news page: we’ve got everything from the latest strike information to recent news about the increase in fines for fare-dodgers

Did you see that this Northern Line tube station will close for six months later this year?

Plus: This London postcode has been named one of the UK’s coolest neighbourhoods

Listen to Time Out’s brilliant podcast ‘Love Thy Neighbourhood’: the newest episode with Noomi Rapace in Portobello is out now.

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In pictures: London’s No Trousers Tube Ride 2024

In pictures: London’s No Trousers Tube Ride 2024


Whatever you think of London’s legendary no-trousers tube ride, there’s no denying that it takes a hell of a lot of guts. Not only do you go out in the cold in your undies and have everyone stare at your goose-bumped legs – your bare flesh might have direct contact with tube seats. Yuck! 

London’s 11th annual official no-trousers tube ride took place last Sunday January 7, with punters bracing chilly weather in a free event ‘just for the sake of fun’. Time Out contributor Samantha Rea was on the ground to document the whole thing – here were some highlights.

No Trousers Tube Ride 2024, London
Photograph: Samantha Rea

   

No Trousers Tube Ride 2024, London
Photograph: Samantha Rea

No Trousers Tube Ride 2024, London
Photograph: Samantha Rea

 

No Trousers Tube Ride 2024, London
Photograph: Samantha Rea
No Trousers Tube Ride 2024, London
Photograph: Samantha Rea
No Trousers Tube Ride 2024, London
Photograph: Samantha Rea

For more London snaps: these photographs capture the fading world of Smithfield’s midnight meat market.

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Here’s the full list of London tube and train services running on New Year’s Eve

Here’s the full list of London tube and train services running on New Year’s Eve


If there’s one thing absolutely no one looks forward to on New Years Eve, it’s travelling home at the end of the night. Everyone and their grandma is watching firworks and out on the lash, meaning that trains get horrendously cramped, and on top of that, a lot of services are reduced compared to the rest of the year. 

To minimise stress, it’s best to plan ahead. Luckily we’ve got you covered: here are all the tube and train details you need to know for New Year’s Eve in London this year. 

London Underground

Services are running all night, except the Waterloo & City line and District line to Kensington Olympia. 

Stations near the fireworks event (Southbank) and other busy areas of London may be exit or interchange only or have queues. 

London Overground

Gospel Oak-Barking Riverside

No overnight service

Euston-Watford Junction

Extra late-night services at these times:

01:05 Euston to Queens Park

01:44 Euston to Watford

Liverpool Street-Enfield Town/Cheshunt/Chingford

Special overnight service

Romford-Upminster

No overnight service

Highbury & Islington-West Croydon/Clapham Junction/Crystal Palace

No service between Clapham Junction and Surrey Quays

Special overnight service between Highbury & Islington and Crystal Palace/West Croydon

Richmond/Clapham Junction-Stratford

Special overnight service

Elizabeth line

Normal service during the day. There will be a special all-night service running roughly every 15 minutes between:

Hayes & Harlington and Shenfield

Reading and Abbey Wood

There will be no overnight services running to or from Heathrow.

DLR

Special all-night service on all routes with trains every 15 minutes.

National Rail services

Most national rail companies will operate a Sunday service and may have engineering closures. Nothing overnight found except for the following changes:

Avanti West Coast

Trains will stop running earlier than normal on New Year’s Eve. Until 11am, trains will only run hourly between: 

London Euston and Manchester Piccadilly via Stoke-on-Trent

London Euston and Manchester Piccadilly via Crewe

London Euston and Liverpool Lime Street

London Euston and Glasgow Central

London Euston and Birmingham New Street

London Euston and Blackpool 

Chiltern Railways

There will be some additional late night services from London Marylebone up to 2am.

South Western Railway

Some additional overnight departures from London Waterloo after midnight will be running, subject to last minute alterations.

Thameslink

According to their travel planner, the hourly overnight service between Brighton and Bedford will still be running.

Trams

Special all-night service runs between Wimbledon and Beckenham Junction/New Addington only.

ICYMI: Time Out’s biggest London news stories of 2023.

Listen to Time Out’s brilliant podcast ‘Love Thy Neighbourhood’: the Christmas special with Paloma Faith in the East End is out now.

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