Home Business News London roars back for a Christmas ‘too big to miss’

London roars back for a Christmas ‘too big to miss’

by LLB staff reporter
12th Dec 23 12:58 pm

London is continuing to roar back from the pandemic this festive season, with soaring ridership numbers at key Tube stations close to Christmas attractions, and entries and exits at Oxford Circus station 27 per cent higher on Black Friday than on average for each of the previous four Fridays.

The run-up to Christmas, known as the ‘Golden Quarter’ is a vital period for the retail and hospitality sectors, with many businesses relying on it for a significant proportion of their annual profits – and TfL figures reveal how Londoners and visitors are using the capital’s transport network to enjoy the capital’s vast array of retail opportunities and festive events.

The Tube stop for Battersea Power Station, on the Northern line extension, saw an incredible 52,814 entries and exits on 4 November, the day of the Battersea Park fireworks – almost double the number seen on the previous Saturday. Kew Gardens station saw a 53 per cent increase in entries and exits during the first three days of Christmas at Kew, which opened on 15 November, in comparison to the same three days the previous week.

In addition, the Heart of London Business Alliance data revealed footfall on Saturday 25 November after Black Friday this year was 29 per cent higher compared to the previous Saturday average in November.

TfL and Visit London have launched a new Tube map titled “A Christmas Too Big to Miss,” marking the locations of the best festive attractions across London this year. Similarly, to other Tube maps, it gives guidance on accessibility, as well as advice on how far the attractions are from the stations.

A recent TfL report showed that bus demand between January and October 2023 was eight per cent higher than in same period in 2022 and buses continue to be a cost-effective way to travel over the festive period, with the Hopper fare offering unlimited bus and tram journeys within an hour.

The Mayor has hailed his Superloop, launched in July, as a ‘game-changer’ for bus travel, with two more routes added to the suburban network earlier this week providing another boost for those travelling from outer London.

New data from TfL shows that there had been a 62 per cent increase in weekly passengers on the SL7 route (linking West Croydon to Heathrow) since it became part of the Superloop network, which saw it double in frequency to four buses an hour in each direction – and most other Superloop routes have outperformed the six per cent year-on-year passenger growth across the capital’s 700 routes.

Footfall has also risen sharply in the West End, with Shaftesbury Capital, owner of Seven Dials and Covent Garden, recently revealing footfall was up 12 per cent year-on-year. The area, which suffered a drop in visitors after the pandemic, has said its footfall is now 16 per cent above 2019 levels.

Earlier this month, a new pop-up shop opened in Carnaby Street as part of the Mayor’s innovative ‘London Made Me’ retail training and shop programme, giving 12 creative entrepreneurs the opportunity to build and launch their own collective retail store for the festive period and bring their brands to life in a prime high street location.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “ We have worked really hard so that London could roar back after the pandemic, and Christmas this year in the capital is set to be one simply too big to miss. From ice skating to Winter Wonderland, there’s a vast array of festive attractions to choose from and a special Christmas Tube map to help you get there.

“London is also one of the world’s best retail destinations, and it’s great to see that promotions such as Black Friday and Small Business Saturday were huge successes. Businesses need our help now more than ever, and I continue to call on the Government to reinstate tax free shopping for international visitors, which would give a much needed boost to businesses and high streets across the country.

“Whether you’re doing some Christmas shopping, visiting a festive attraction or attending a gig, I encourage Londoners and visitors alike to get out there this Christmas and experience everything the city has to offer.”

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