Christmas travel: are London’s Tube and bus services running?


Reduced services on public transport to and around London will run over the Christmas holiday period as travelers are warned to plan ahead.

Central London will see its usual influx of commuters for the Christmas and New Year festivities, but with restricted travel options across the city.

Normal Covid travel rules will still apply, including mandatory face masks on all public transport and in indoor public spaces unless exempt.

Does public transport run during Christmas?

On Christmas Day there is no public transport available in London. There are no night buses on Christmas Eve as public transport slows down and stops in the early evening.

Reduced service of buses, trams, London Underground and London Overground trains will follow on Boxing Day (December 26) and New Year’s Day (January 1). As Christmas Day and Boxing Day fall on Saturday and Sunday in 2021, there will be additional holidays on Monday December 27 and Tuesday December 28 with fewer travel options.

TfL networks are also not offering any free travel on New Year’s Eve.

Which metro lines will be affected?

All TfL and London Underground lines will be closed on Christmas Day.

On Sunday 26th December there is a partial closure of the Metropolitan, Jubilee and Piccadilly lines with replacement bus services available. Engineering works and planned service disruptions will also occur on the Piccadilly line, affecting travel to and from Heathrow Airport.

After 9.45pm on Christmas Eve (24th December) there will be no service on London Overground lines. Reduced services will follow until the New Year.

TfL Rail has an early closure on Christmas Eve and no service on Christmas Day. From Sunday December 26 to Tuesday December 28, services will be reduced.

What alternative transport can I use?

On Christmas Day, options are limited to walking, taxis, coaches, Dial-a-Ride for registered members, Santander bikes and trial e-scooter hire in select London boroughs.

Taxis and private hire services can cost more at Christmas and Boxing Day and have long wait times.

TfL Rail will run overnight trains on New Year’s Eve between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, and Paddington and Hayes & Harlington/Reading.

Airport transfer services will operate on Boxing Day, such as the still-operating Stansted Express, but no Heathrow Express services will operate on Christmas Day and Boxing Day in 2021. Replacement coaches for the Piccadilly line will also be available from and towards Hammersmith.

Driving your own car is always an option and on Christmas Day traffic congestion and ULEZ fees do not apply. The LEZ applies all year round (including Christmas Day).

Check out the latest Christmas travel information here.

Bonny J. Streater