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How will travel be impacted in the UK now that the Queen’s died?

From disruption at airports to new train timetables, here’s everything you need to know

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II last week, the UK has begun an official period of national mourning which will last until her funeral on September 19.

Even if you aren’t travelling in or out of London for either the funeral or to see the Queen lying in state, travel could still be impacted by the mourning period. Here are the key things you need to know. 

Where in the UK will travel be affected? 

While the Queen lies in state in Westminster Hall at the Palace of Westminster from September 14 to 19, certain roads in London will be closed. During the Queen’s funeral on September 19, you can expect even more road closures. While the exact details of restrictions and closures for the funeral haven’t been announced yet, it’s likely part of the A3212 and the whole of Parliament Street will close for the procession, as well as Parliament Square and part of Broad Sanctuary. Keep up-to-date with the latest information here

Are the rail strikes still going ahead?

In short, no. The RMT union had announced a nationwide strike for September 15 and 17, with train drivers’ union Aslef also set to walk out on September 15. Strike action on both days has now been called off.

The TSSA rail union had planned for industrial action 26 and 27 September, but this has also been put on hold. 

Will there be more trains to take people to London?

Transport bosses have confirmed that extra trains will be running for people travelling to London to pay their respects to the Queen, with some services even running through the night. The day of the Queen’s funeral (next Monday September 19) has been made a bank holiday, so expect a reduced or Sunday service on most rail routes.

Can I change my train ticket?

The RDG has said that any customers who bought tickets before the Queen’s death on September 8 and now don’t want to travel can get a refund. If you purchased ‘anytime, off-peak or super off-peak’ tickets before the Queen died, you’ll be able to get a full refund.

If you’d like to change your ticket rather than cancel it, you can usually do this up to 6pm on the day before travel. However, you may have to pay a fee and/or the fare difference.

Will flights be cancelled ahead of the funeral?

A number of flights were delayed and cancelled to ensure silence in central London during the procession of the Queen’s coffin.

Now, carriers including SAS, Finnair and Emirates have stopped selling tickets to and from Heathrow on Monday, the day of the funeral, to avoid having to reschedule flights that coincide with the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. It is expected that flight cancellations could follow. 

We might expect further disruption at airports in and around London due to heads of state arriving for the Queen’s funeral on Monday. If your flight is affected by this extra airport congestion, your airline should notify you well in advance.   

Will there be any extra flights?

Unless you’re a head of state, no, there are unlikely to be any extra flights. EasyJet told The Independent: ‘Given our extensive flying schedule into and around the UK, we do not have any current plans to increase flying over the coming days.’

What’s the best way to travel to London during national mourning?

Due to road closures and the general influx of people heading to London this week, we’d suggest using trains and coaches to get to the capital rather than private cars. Expect all public services to be much, much busier than usual.

When you’re in London, using the trains and Tubes will almost certainly be the best way to get around. Even so, TfL is advising that you allow plenty of time for your journey.

How many people are travelling to London for the funeral?

At one point, the queue of people to see the Queen’s body lying in state was more than 3.1 miles long. The numbers for the funeral itself will be similarly high, with millions expected to watch on TV.

For context, the funeral procession of the Queen Mother back in 2002 was attended by around 200,000 mourners. In other words, we can expect a great deal of people to head into central London for 11am on September 19. 

Read more: what will happen to coins, stamps and passports now the Queen has died?

Plus: here’s how to see the Queen’s body lying in state in London.

And: what will happen to the Queen’s corgis now?

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