Queen's Diamond Jubilee Celebrations
UK- London | May 31 2012 | (01:01:54 - EDT)
As the town gears up for right royal knees up in honor of the Queen’s diamond jubilee this weekend, celebrations are already under way.
More than half a million Britons are expected to visit London over the weekend to take part in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
The Association of Train Operating Companies said around 500,000 people would be travelling to London by rail, while a further 30,000 are due to travel with coach operator National Express.
Many rail companies will be providing additional trains and carriages to cope with the increased demand, while the majority of engineering work has been put on hold.
One route that will be affected is the Stansted Express service between the Essex airport and Liverpool Street station.
National Express said its busiest departure points for trips to the capital would be Bristol, Birmingham and Bournemouth.
Hundreds of thousands more will visit the capital from overseas – Heathrow alone is expecting to handle 780,000 overseas travellers between today and next Tuesday.
The west London airport is laying out red carpets in its arrivals halls and handing out Union flags to passengers.
Eurostar has also reported a 30 per cent rise in bookings over the weekend, with up to 30,000 passengers a day travelling between Britain and the Continent.
Not all Britons will be staying in the country to celebrate the Jubilee, however. Around two million are expected to head abroad during the coming days, with 115,000 due to fly from Heathrow on Friday. The most popular destinations for departing travellers are Dubai, Amsterdam, Chicago, New York and Dublin, according to the Association of British Travel Agents.
Meanwhile, Transport for London has warned motorists to avoid central London throughout the weekend, while a number of bus routes will be diverted due to road closures.
"Central London will be very busy throughout the weekend and everyone intending to be in central London should use public transport, plan their journeys ahead and check before they travel,” said London's Transport Commissioner Peter Hendy. "Road closures and bus diversions will mean that some people have to travel in different ways - particularly on the Sunday. Due to a number of road and bridge closures, motorists are advised particularly to avoid central London for all but essential journeys on that day.”
The London Underground will be running a complete service, although a few parts of the London Overground will be closed.
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