Has The Elizabeth Line Changed Your Life For The Better? Londonist Readers Speak Out

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 19 months ago
Has The Elizabeth Line Changed Your Life For The Better? Londonist Readers Speak Out
An empty platform at Bond Street
The lack of Bond Street station is niggling. Image: Crossrail Project

It's been two months since the Elizabeth line opened — billed as "the most spectacular railway in the world" (and if you think that's hyperbole, at least you can't deny it gets you to Slough faster).

We asked Londonist readers if the line had changed their life for the better. You didn't disappoint with your array of answers:

Heck yes - the Elizabeth line has improved my life!

An Elizabeth line train zooms through a tunnel
The line has sped up London life for some of you. Image: Crossrail Project

Slashing commute times is one of the major promoted boons of the line, and some of you are already reaping the benefits:

"Oh yes, commuting in from Woolwich is nicer and faster now. I still like the boat, but this is faster :D" - Steve

"100% it's made such a difference getting into central London" - Andy

"I commute from North Hertfordshire to Canary Wharf: the slick change at Farringdon is a world away from trailing around London Bridge for the Jubilee line!" - Lewis

The #PurpleTrain is also there for you when other lines are not (or when you don't fancy taking the Piccadilly line to Heathrow):

"Yes especially when coming back to SE London from Cambridge and trains to King's Cross weren't running. We were able to get it from Liverpool St to Woolwich instead of Thameslink" - Kate

"Yep! Brilliant, comfortable journey to Heathrow" - MrsLibrary

A purple and white Elizabeth line train beneath grand Victorian station arches
Image: Crossrail Project

Some of you praised the new line itself, but are less impressed with connecting services:

"Yes, a new turn up & go link in SE London is a real improvement for me. But it's only as good as the onward bus connection in Woolwich which can be variable, as bus arrival predictions for the 122 are abysmal" - Dockless Bike Fan

As for the on board air con — that's already paying dividends in recent sweltering temps:

"Was on it this morning for my second trip with it, for a walk from Canada Water to London Bridge. The 13 minute connections from Paddington to Whitechapel are crazy to the tube equivalent. And the air-con is definitely a bonus!" - Martin

"Last night yes. I spent an hour on it cooling down!" - Michael

Hell no - the Elizabeth line has NOT improved my life!

Elizabeth line wayfinding signage - pointing to east and westbound platforms
The interchanges at Tottenham Court Road and Canary Wharf are "pants" according to one reader. Image: Crossrail Project

But there is much unrest too, among those of you who feel let down by London's swanky new line:

"The interchanges at Tottenham Court Road and Canary Wharf are pants" - Dennis

"Nope, not a bit and I thought it was supposed to ease pressure on the Northern line? Not between the City and North London as it's still crammed" - Nadia

"No. It doesn't go to anywhere I need to go." - Flingo Bingo

Some are still pining for the landmarks that had to make way for the Elizabeth line:

"No, I haven't had any need to use it. I'd prefer it if we still had the things they demolished to build it, such as the Astoria" - Johnny

And while accessibility is certainly a step-up from much of the rest of the Underground network, the Elizabeth line still has its foibles:

"NO ITS NOT FULLY Accessible some stations you still require a ramp so not great" - Kane

It'll be good when it's finished...

A purple sign above escalators announcing Paddington
"It's a joke!" cries one reader. Image: Crossrail Project

There is a third (and substantial) school of thought, which — like that well-worn London idiom — suggests the Elizabeth line could be good once it's actually finished:

"It's still not working properly... sometimes you need you wait for a train for ages... it will be great when it will be ready" - Marco

There's some serious beef with the interchanges in effect until the line is properly joined up in 2023:

"I don't understand why the mandatory change of platform in Paddington?!?!? Awful experience for people who travel with luggage to Heathrow. I hope it's gonna change soon as otherwise why did it take so many years and money to plan and deliver such a fragmented line? The designers of this line must have forgot the travellers. It's a joke!" - Ron

"The interchange at Paddington is atrocious, really poorly signposted, really complicated even for someone who knows where they're going, I pity anyone new to London" - Caff

"Too early to say as I am near Stratford and that branch isn't fully open yet. I am annoyed that all trains from Stratford look like they have to interchange at Liverpool Street. Would have been nice to be able to get trains right through to Paddington & Heathrow" - Hector on Acid

"Not yet. When they join it up into a single line, yes" - Alasdair

"Once I don’t have to get off and back on it again a Paddington it will!" - Tony

An orange illuminated 'doors opening' sign
Image: Crossrail Project

And the AWOL Bond Street doesn't get off lightly, either:

"No, without Bond St, it's pretty much useless. The easiest interchange is Farringdon and it's only any good for going to ExCel. Once the entire line opens w/o interchanges, maybe. Until then, no" - James

"Once the project is actually completed it may change some lives. At the moment with the missing Bond Street station and forcing people to change trains in Liverpool Street and in Paddington it's just a hassle." - Nikko

And while some people are waxing lyrically about the air con, others bemoan the trains' lack of WCs:

"Also, nobody thought of adding toilets to the train? If you want to go from Shenfield to Reading you would have to hold yourself for quite some time before being able to have a wee or poo" - Nikko

And one of you would like to see a final bill before passing judgement:

"That depends. How much did it cost me?" - Patrick


And then there's this:

"It's has zero effect on my life. I live in Derbyshire so it's a bit too far away to have any impact 😂" - Mark

Can't argue with that, Mark.

Last Updated 26 July 2022

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