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East London Line now carries 38m passengers per year

An impact study produced by Transport for London(TfL) on the East London Line (ELL) and
the London Overground produces strong evidence to show that the
ELL has been so successful that parts of the line will be overcrowded by 2016.
The report shows just how many passengers have been attracted to the line: in
its first year of operation, the line carried 16 million pasengers. In 2011/12
this is expected to have grown to 38 million passengers per year.

The report indicates that during morning rush hours the stretch
between Sydenham and Canada Water is already crowded with trains carrying 2-3
passengers per sq metre. By 2016, trains between Canada Water and Whitechapel
will be overcrowded during both rush hours with 3-4 passengers per sq metre.

To cope with these extra passengers TfL has recommended increasing
East London Line trains from four to five carriages in length.

Here are the main points of the report:

  • 0.6 million passengers per week use East
    London Line. Demand has doubled since the first week of operation. 17,000
    passengers per day use the newest section of the route between Dalston Junction
    and Highbury & Islington 23 million passengers have used the extension
    since its opening.
  • The busiest section of line is between
    New Cross Gate and Canada Water where 50,000 people per day travel by LO in
    both directions. The route has already become crowded in peak periods with
    loads over three passengers per square meeting standing in the peak hour
  • The extended East London Line carries 0.6
    million passengers per week, 3.5 times as many as the old East London Line that
    it replaced and more than double the volume of usage in June 2010. Passenger
    revenue has also doubled and is forecast to be £32m in 2011/12.
  • ELL carried around approximately 16
    million passengers in its first year to May 2011, a figure that will increase
    to 38 million passengers in the financial year 2011/12.
  • The busiest station is Canada Water with 30,000 Overground passengers per day, many of them
    interchanging with the Jubilee Line. This is followed by Whitechapel with
    15,000, and Highbury & Islington and New Cross Gate with 12,000.
  • Passenger facilities at stations havebeen improved with the installation of ticket machines, help points, cycle
    parking and passenger information. Eleven stations were gated shortly after the
    concession started to reduce fraudulent travel and to improve security and over
    95 per cent journeys pass through a gated station at one or both ends. The
    volume of passenger journeys made without valid tickets fell from 10 per cent
    to three per cent within a year of the network being under TfL management. The
    volume of passenger journeys made without a valid ticket is currently two per
  • TfL has estimated that, of the increase in passengers using LO since 2007, the largest
    share have switched from bus or LU helping to reduce congestion on radial
    routes into Central London. Around 12 per cent have switched from car or are
    making new journeys.
  • TfL’s report Delivering the Mayor’s Transport Strategy: National
    Rail in London
    sets out TfL’s recommendations for rail capacity in
    2014-19. This includes a recommendation to increase the East London Line trains
    to five cars in length