Passenger numbers on Transport for London (TfL) services jumped this morning as people rushed to back to the capital’s shopping hotspots following the lifting of some lockdown restrictions.
As of 10am this morning, there were around 670,000 taps in and out of Tube stations, about a third of pre-pandemic levels. TfL said that this was a jump of 18 per cent since last week.
The same story was the case for buses, which saw 690,000 taps this morning – up 15 per cent on last Tuesday. That means bus passenger numbers are at 56 per cent of “normal levels”.
The figures, although only reflecting the first few hours of the day, indicate levels of public transport use not seen since October.
With footfall in London’s retail districts surging this morning, TfL data showed that Zone 1 stations – near destinations such as Oxford Street and the West End – had seen 19 per cent more taps as of 10am.
For stations near shopping centres such as Stratford, Westfield, and Oxford Street, the increase was an even more marked 32 per cent.
The increase grew even more dramatic as the morning continued. According to TfL, Between 10-11am there was a 97 per cent increase compared to last Tuesday at those same shopping stations, and a 36 per cent increase across the network.
Between 11am and midday, there was a 125 per cent increase compared to last Tuesday at shopping stations and a 41 per cent increase across the network.
After nearly four long months of lockdown, people have been making the most of their newfound freedoms, crowding into pubs, shops and hairdressers from opening time.
The surge also seemed to spread to financial districts. A spokesperson for TfL told City A.M. that as of 4pm taps in and out of City stations (including Canary Wharf) were up nearly a quarter – 23 per cent – from last week.