Four Elizabeth line stops in central London have become the latest on the capital’s transport network to gain high-speed mobile coverage.
The Elizabeth line platforms, escalators and ticket halls at Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon and Liverpool Street all feature 4G coverage from today (Wednesday, December 19).
London mayor Sadiq Khan said he was “delighted to see the promise I made of delivering 4G and 5G across our transport network continuing to progress”.
He added: “The new mobile coverage at these stations will be a major boost for those travelling around London – connecting key business centres and some of the popular parts of central London and the West End. It will help Londoners and visitors to the capital to better navigate the capital and stay connected underground.”
The new coverage at the Elizabeth line section of Tottenham Court Road means that the whole station now has mobile coverage.
At Bond Street, work to expand coverage to the Central line, and then onto the Jubilee line, will take place throughout 2024.
Mr Khan said that in “about four months’ time” all 73km of the Elizabeth line, including in tunnels, will have 4G, later to be upgraded to 5G.
By the end of 2024, “nearly all” of the underground Tube network will have at least a 4G connection, the mayor added.
But he stayed tight-lipped over whether he may look to improve connectivity on buses by introducing free WiFi – currently enjoyed on buses in cities like Bristol, Nottingham and Oxford.
“You’ll have to wait for the [May 2024 election] manifesto for that one,” he said.
Over recent months, coverage has been rolled out between Holland Park and Queensway as well as between Bond Street and Chancery Lane on the Central line, and also between Belsize Park, Archway and Tottenham Court Road on the Northern line.
Around 20 per cent of Tube stations with platforms that are underground, and therefore usually unable to get a mobile signal, now have coverage. When combined with sections of the Tube which are above ground, this means that around two thirds of the whole network has coverage.
Transport for London (TfL) says that by the end of spring 2024, the first stops on the Bakerloo, Victoria and Piccadilly lines will have coverage – within both the stations and tunnels in central London. It will mean around 40 stations with underground platforms, and their connecting tunnels, will be covered.
TfL commissioner Andy Lord said the rollout of further coverage was a “vital project for London, allowing customers to be more connected underground and get the latest travel information and news, as well as stay in contact with work, friends and families while travelling on our network”.
He added: “Our engineers will be working closely with Boldyn Networks over Christmas and throughout 2024 to expand coverage to more stations and tunnels across London, and we remain committed to having a significant proportion of the entire Tube network connected by the end of 2024.”