Just under half of Londoners have taken a trip on the Elizabeth line since it opened, and not just because they want to have a look at London’s shiny new train service.

A survey by YouGov found that 45% of Londoners say that they have travelled on the Elizabeth line, although more interestingly, 7% of Londoners are unsure if they have.

That could account for people on the Shenfield and Reading branches, where the Elizabeth line shares tracks with other rail services, and the new trains might be less obvious to passengers. Once you get into central London though, where the new huge stations have been built, you’d hope most people would notice that they’re not in an old tube station any more.

On that issue, one of the tables released by YouGov showed the age profile of respondents who responded that they didn’t know if they had used the line, and the “don’t knows” is far higher amongst young people than older people. It’s suggestive that young people having grown up with modern trains may be less likely to notice another modern train service, whereas older folk may remember what trains used to be like 20 years ago, and really notice how different the Elizabeth line is compared to what came before.

The Elizabeth line is also more accessible than the tube, so people with mobility requirements are going to notice the difference more than some younger people.

The Elizabeth line is also bedding in as part of people’s routine now that it’s been open for eight months, and more so since the services were linked up last November. The YouGov survey found that 83% of passengers are using the line as part of their usual journeys now, although there’s still a fair number altering a journey somewhat just to be able to try out the new line for the first time.

The embedding of the line in regular commutes is evidenced by the morning rush hour at Canary Wharf’s Elizabeth line station having got a lot busier since Bond Street station opened as Bond Street offers a convenient link with the Jubilee line for Canary Wharf commuters to use.

Of the age profiles, over half (53%) of people aged 18-24 said that they have used the Elizabeth line, followed by 49% of those aged 25-49, 39% of people aged 50-64 and 29% of people aged 65 and over.

For regular use though, the age ratio flips around a bit, with 78% of those aged 18-24 using the line regularly, which rises to 84% for those aged 25-49, 87% for those aged 50-64 and 83% for those aged 65 and over.

The higher regular use of the line by older folk may again suggest that the accessibility built into the new railway is opening up more of London to people who are more likely to struggle with the older tube stations that lack lifts and wide corridors.

The survey was carried out by YouGov in late January of 1,258 adults living in London.


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