The year is 2008. Manchester United has won the Champions League in Moscow. Gordon Brown is Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Wall-E is making waves at the cinema. Oh, and the Crossrail Act has finally received royal assent!
11 years and around £15 billion later, it’s… still not open. Even so, we have been promised the full opening of the Elizabeth Line by 2020. Indeed, every cloud has a silver lining, and in this case, your business still has time to prepare for the arrival of this railway line which will run as far west as Reading and Heathrow and as far east as Shenfield in Essex and Abbey Wood.
This new and exciting purple line will be a significant addition to London’s rail network, bringing an extra 1.5 million people within 45 minutes of central London. BUT what are the potential benefits of the Elizabeth Line for your business? Here are 6 reasons to move your office along the Elizabeth Line ASAP and reap the rewards before it’s too late.
1. Location, location, location
The Elizabeth Line will be comprised of 41 stations, covering over 100km of track, and carrying an estimated 200 million people per annum. In central London, the line runs through the important business centres of Paddington, Farringdon, and Liverpool Street. The increase in accessibility in these areas will no doubt benefit nearby businesses.
Estimated travel time between Canary Wharf and Liverpool Street, for example, will be slashed from 21 minutes to just 6 minutes. Similarly, the journey from Bond Street to Paddington will be cut down to just 3 minutes from 15 minutes currently. If you want to feel the benefits of a more connected London, it’s all about location, location, location!
2. The Only Way Is Essex
The Elizabeth line is great news for Essex and will widen accessibility for a whole region of people to the east of London, areas which have historically been far less serviced than other parts of the city and its surrounding suburbs. For businesses, this is an opportunity of widening accessibility to a growing pool of potential employees that could be vital assets to your firm.
Crossrail is already open on this stretch under the guise of the TfL rail running only as far as Liverpool Street at the moment. Essex locals will be welcoming both new work opportunities and a new reign under Transport for London.
3. Reading between the lines
All the way down along the other end of the Elizabeth Line, Reading station awaits the sweet embrace of official entry into the London transport community. This has certainly raised eyebrows considering Reading is 60km from central London, and we don’t know yet whether Oyster cards will be valid this far beyond the M25. To put that into perspective, Luton is around 15km closer whilst Brighton is only 15km further away.
Even so, the swallowing of Reading into the behemoth that is the London rail and tube network is nothing but good news for this area and will certainly put this town on the map. Indeed, Reading has made it onto London Economics’ top 10 up-and-coming areas in the whole of the UK, and this clearly has much to do with optimism and excitement around the impending completion of the Elizabeth Line.
4. Start your day right
Londoners will be all too familiar with the horrors of morning commutes. Most would agree that being squashed between a gaggle of strangers is no way to begin a good day of work. The Elizabeth Line promises to alleviate many of the worst excesses of London’s congestion headache, with reports stating that it will add 10% to London’s rail network capacity.
Not only this, but the new trains and stations will come as a breath of fresh air to commuters. Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, and Liverpool Street are amongst the most notable stops that will see the opening of new stations.
The trains themselves will be brand spanking new, standing at 200 metres long, and providing space for up to 1,500 passengers. For reference, the Metropolitan line, which boasts the largest capacity of London’s current fleet, can fit 500 less than the Elizabeth line trains will be able to. We think it makes sense to name this lengthy train after a monarch with such a lengthy reign!
5. Free Wi-Fi!
The Elizabeth Line promises to revolutionise the London transport network by guaranteeing free on-board Wi-Fi to all travellers. That means no more infuriating battles with your phone when you’re simply trying to send an email to a colleague, no more frustrating intermittent messaging, we’ll let you imagine the possibilities.
As has already been stated, a good commute is vital to the mental health of employees. Numerous studies have demonstrated the significant effect that commuting has on people. Of course, if employees find their journey more enjoyable, then this will have positive knock-on effects for business. The Elizabeth Line is the future!
By guest blogger Jacob Tucker