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A ring of steel will surround Westminster Abbey for the Queen’s funeral in the biggest security operation in Scotland Yard’s near-200 year history as it was revealed today that there have been 34 arrests in the lead up to the event.
At least 10,000 police officers including 2,000 from around the UK will be guarding central London and the Queen’s 23 mile route to Windsor Castle on Monday. Many roads and bridges will be shut to traffic and 23-miles of barriers put up to control crowds and keep key areas empty or secure.
The Met’s DAC Stuart Cundy, the man in charge of the operation in the capital, said the force would use ‘all tools and tactics available’ to protect the Queen’s coffin, the Royal Family, hundreds of VIPs and world leaders and the 1million people expected to head to the capital to mourn.
The Queen’s hearse will travel on A-roads and avoid the M4 from London to Windsor
People watch the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, following her death last Thursday, after leaving RAF Northolt in London on Tuesday. The Queen’s final journey after the funeral on Monday will avoid motorways and stick to slower A-roads – giving thousands more Britons the chance to pay their last respects as her coffin passes
The Queen’s final journey after the funeral will avoid motorways and stick to slower A-roads – giving thousands more Britons the chance to pay their last respects as her coffin passes.
The Daily Mail understands the hearse carrying her from Westminster to Windsor will not travel on the M4, which would be the quickest route.
Sources revealed last night that it will be driven on the A30 and is likely also to go on the A4. One insider said: ‘All the other royals will be going on the M4.’
Travelling along A-roads west out of London to Berkshire means it will be easier for mourners to line up and pay respects. The choice of route comes after warnings that up to 350,000 mourners are going to miss out on the opportunity to visit her lying-in-state in Westminster due to massive waits in the queue.
Former Tory Cabinet minister David Jones, who called for an extended post-funeral route, said last night: ‘I think it’s very important that as many people as possible have the opportunity to pay their last respects while in sight of the coffin. So it’s sensible that it’s not going all the way along the motorway, as people would not be able to do that there.
The blueprint for the procession is based on the one used for the Queen Mother who was buried in Windsor in 2002. The route taken from London to Northamptonshire after Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997 was lengthened at the 11th hour due to the huge outpouring of grief over her death.
The senior officer told reporters the ‘hugely complex’ policing operation is the biggest in the force’s history, surpassing the London 2012 Olympics which saw up to 10,000 police officers on duty per day.
Rank-and-file will line the streets supported by armed officers on the ground and snipers on rooftops. Helicopters and CCTV will help commanders watch crowds from the sky.
Mr Cundy said: ‘This will be the largest single policing event that the Met Police has ever undertaken. As a single event this is larger than the 2012 Olympics, it is larger than the Platinum Jubilee weekend. The range of officers, police staff and all those supporting the operation is truly immense.’
He added that 34 people have been arrested as part of the policing operation in the lead up to the Queen’s funeral. The senior officer called the number recorded by Friday morning ‘relatively few’, and said none were for protesting.
Drones are known to be used in major operations while facial recognition software has been used in London. DAC Cundy declined to rule out using them, citing operational reasons, but added they would use ‘all tactics and tools’ they needed to protect the capital.
He said that he wanted the crowds to keep an eye out for drones because there is a no-fly zone over the funeral and London procession.
Motorbike escort riders, the Met’s horse-mounted branch, dog teams and the marine unit will be in place. The force will also use more than 22 miles of barriers in central London alone to control crowds and keep key areas secure.
It came as Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley described the policing operation for the funeral as ‘enormous’, adding that his officers are being supported by ‘pretty much every force across the country’ who are all ‘relishing the opportunity’.
After the stabbing of two police officers in the West End this morning, DAC Cundy said that while it was not related to terrorism or the Queen’s death – it reinforced that the Met must be prepared for a major incident such as a terror attack, a crowd crush or protesters disrupting the event.
He said: ‘Who knows what might occur over the coming days. If anyone sees anything, hears anything, or thinks that something is out of the ordinary please speak to one of the hundreds if not thousands of officers that they’ll see so we can respond accordingly’.
Anyone coming to Windsor to see the Queen’s coffin arrive on Monday afternoon will be subject to searches and scanning through weapons arches before they arrive at the castle.
He said that there had been 34 arrests in London linked to the Queen’s death and events – but DAC Cundy insisted none were protesters.
During the 2012 Olympic Games in London up to 10,000 police officers were on duty per day.
Stuart Cundy said that, following the death of the Queen, in mutual aid alone – officers who are drafted in from outside forces to help – there will be 20,000 officer shifts throughout the week and 2,000 officers in a single day at the peak.
It will also be the largest global protection operation that the force has dealt with, as hundreds of VIPs are expected to attend the funeral on Monday.
Police in central London as part of what Scotland Yard says is the biggest operation in their history following the death of the Queen
Mounted police, pictured on The Mall, are one of the specialist units that will protect the public and royals
More than 22 miles of roads in London will be guarded by the police on the day of the funeral
Police spotters and top brass on top of Buckingham Palace as part of the security operation
More than 2,000 officers from outside the Met are currently protecting the capital
The morning at 6am a female police officer suffered potentially life-changing injuries while her colleague was stabbed in the neck after they were attacked by a knifeman in London’s West End this morning.
The Met Police officers were attacked while on patrol, after being called to reports of a man with a blade near Leicester Square around 6am this morning.
A young female police officer suffered a serious stab wound to her arm which may be life-changing, while the other officer was stabbed three times in the neck and once in the chest, but should make a full recovery, Scotland Yard said.
A Taser was deployed by arriving officers on a man aged in his 20s, described as being of north African origin, who was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and assaulting an emergency worker. He was taken to hospital.
Detectives have launched an investigation but the incident is not being treated as terror-related.
It happened in the area of Haymarket and Coventry Street, before the man was stopped near the junction of Shaftesbury Avenue and Great Windmill Street.
Police officers at the scene of the stabbing near London’s Leicester Square this morning
Police officers at the scene in the West End this morning following the stabbing hours earlier
Horrifying footage from the scene of the stabbing shows an officer leaning against the side of a wall as three others attend to him and attempt to bandage his shoulder following the attack
The Queen: All you need to know following her passing and a look back at her 70-year reign
Horrifying footage from the scene shows an officer leaning against the side of a wall as three others attend to him and attempt to bandage his shoulder following the attack.
A large blood stain was visible on the white wall of the ‘Shake Shack’ bar where the officers were attacked.
A hotel worker witness told MailOnline: ‘The policemen got the knife off him to start with and it fell in the floor. But he managed to pick it up again and started lashing out. He got them both before they managed to stop him. I think they used a taser.’
Police officers from around the country are relishing the opportunity to help support the Queen’s funeral, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said.
‘It (the Queen’s funeral) is an enormous policing operation,’ he told the PA news agency.
‘We now build in the resources over the weekend towards Monday. We’ve got Metropolitan Police officers supported by pretty much every force across the country.
‘The number of officers deployed is heading to a point where it will be well beyond the total size of a force like West Midlands or Greater Manchester – it will be heading into the high numbers of thousands of officers deployed.
‘And within that you’ve got the very visible officers lining routes and patrolling the crowds supported by any number of specialists, counterterrorism specialists, firearms officers, search officers – the whole range of skills that we have in the organisation all dedicated to supporting this event and ensuring that it is safe, and trying to do it in an unobtrusive way as possible because this is obviously a solemn occasion and we want to present that opportunity for everyone to reflect and mourn as is proper on Monday.’
Sir Mark added: ‘The operation (this week) has been going fantastically well, and it’s great to see the spirit of officers.
‘I think the sense in all the officers I speak to – whether they’re Met officers or from around the country – is that everyone feels just immensely privileged to be able to take this opportunity to play a small part in supporting the funeral of Queen Elizabeth and actually they’re really relishing and proud of that opportunity.’
Transport chiefs unveil plans for Queen’s funeral: Elizabeth line to run overnight, buses to stop for two minute’s silence, THREE Tube stations closed and slam-door trains brought back into service as drivers are told to get petrol before bank holiday
The Elizabeth line will run overnight, buses will pull over during the silence and heritage slam-door trains will help boost rail capacity next Monday as up to one million mourners descend on London for the Queen’s funeral.
Transport for London also announced today that three major central Underground stations will be closed on Monday morning to prevent overcrowding and warned that services are expected to be ‘extremely busy’.
Many buses will be diverted due to road closures, while Tube passengers will be prevented from starting or ending journeys at Westminster, St James’s Park and Hyde Park Corner stations for ‘most of the morning’ on Monday.
Transport bosses said they ‘will aim to reopen stations’ after the funeral at Westminster Abbey – which will be at around noon – to help people leaving the area. Green Park station will be exit-only between 10am and 8pm.
TfL also announced that buses will pull over ‘if it is safe and practical to do so’ and switch their engines off during the one-minute silence on Sunday at 8pm and the two-minute silence on Monday at around 11.55am.
Meanwhile the RAC warned motorists to fill up their cars with fuel before Monday when hundreds of petrol stations at the likes of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons will shut for the day until some reopen at 5pm.
And the AA issued a ‘traffic warning’ for Windsor and Central London, urging people to travel by public transport if they want to want proceedings and ‘not expect to park anywhere near the procession route’ if they drive. It also told people to pre-book any limited parking and to switch off their sat-navs and follow signs installed by the AA.
The recently-opened Elizabeth line will run a special service with a train every five minutes on the central section from Paddington to Abbey Wood on Sunday, while the east and west sections of the line will operate as normal.
Elizabeth line services will also run overnight between Paddington and Reading and between Liverpool Street and Shenfield. In addition, some taxi ranks in central areas will be suspended but temporary ranks have been set up.
Old-fashioned slam door charter trains from Lancashire-based West Coast Railways (WCR) are also being brought in to run a daily service from Lancaster and Preston to Euston, taking an extra 500 passengers a day to the capital.
WCR is better known for running the Jacobite steam train from Fort William to Mallaig which passes the Glenfinnan viaduct made famous in the Harry Potter films and also operates one of the last remaining Pullman carriages.
And Avanti West Coast, which has been hit by major staff shortages, will run an extra service from Manchester to Euston with specialist train firm Locomotive Services Limited but under Avanti livery, reported the Daily Telegraph.
All Network Rail managed stations in London – including King’s Cross, London Victoria, London Waterloo, London Liverpool Street, Charing Cross and Euston – will be open 24 hours a day to provide shelter for people overnight.
Many shops, restaurants and toilets will also stay open at these stations through the night, with some services running into the night from operators including Great Western Railway, Southeastern and Chiltern Railways.
Some stations will have empty ‘welfare trains’ in platforms to offer passengers shelter and a seat while they wait for a service. However, Network Rail said these trains will not be advertised because they are provided as a ‘last resort’ resource with customers invited to join by station staff and priority given to the elderly and vulnerable.
The recently-opened Elizabeth line will run every five minutes on the central section from Paddington to Abbey Wood on Sunday. Services will also run overnight between Paddington and Reading and between Liverpool Street and Shenfield
Transport for London has announced that buses will pull over ‘if it is safe and practical to do so’ and switch their engines off during the one-minute silence on Sunday at 8pm and the two-minute silence on Monday at around 11.55am
Old-fashioned slam door charter trains from Lancashire-based West Coast Railways (WCR) are also being brought in to run a daily service from Lancaster and Preston to London Euston, taking an extra 500 passengers a day to the capital
Transport for London has issued this map showing where all the Underground stations are in Central London, in relation to the lying-in-state queue which opened at 5pm on Wednesday and will run until 6.30am on Monday, the day of the funeral
Teams at The AA have been preparing road signs for the Queen’s funeral which will be in place in Windsor and London
London Victoria coach station will be closed on Monday – with most National Express coaches due to depart from or arrive at Victoria using Wembley Stadium instead, while rival operator Megabus will switch to Hillingdon.
TfL said that areas around Westminster, Waterloo and Trafalgar Square as well as along the South Bank will be ‘exceptionally busy’ on Monday.
What Underground, train and bus services will run in London for the Queen’s funeral on Monday?
Transport for London has issued the following guidance for travel over the next few days:
Tube services will run as normal but some stations will be busier than usual. Some short-term safety measures such as queuing, closures, non-stopping or changes to the way customers enter or exit a station may come in.
Green Park station is exit only between 10am and 10pm until Monday due to the high demand expected. TfL is asking people to avoid the station if possible to keep capacity for customers who need step-free access.
Passengers will be prevented from starting or ending journeys at Westminster, St James’s Park and Hyde Park Corner stations for ‘most of the morning’ on Monday.
Charing Cross, Embankment, Victoria, Lancaster Gate, Waterloo and Marble Arch will all be busier than usual
The Night Tube and Night Overground will run as normal on Friday night and Saturday night
Elizabeth line services will run overnight between Paddington and Reading and between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, but not in the central section between Paddington and Abbey Wood
The Elizabeth line will also run a special service with 12 trains per hour on the central section on Sunday
Road closures mean some buses will stop short of their destination, be on diversion or run a reduced service.
TfL has announced that buses will pull over ‘if it is safe and practical to do so’ and switch their engines off during the one-minute silence on Sunday at 8pm and the two-minute silence on Monday at around 11.55am.
TfL said the ‘best option’ for passengers arriving at mainline railway stations will be to continue their journey on foot rather than use public transport
Some cycle routes will be impacted by road closures, such as C3. Santander Cycles will operate as normal, but some docking stations may be closed.
Road closures will be in place across the weekend, and will significantly rise on the day of the funeral. These closures will remain into next week (see box below).
Taxi and private hire
Taxi and private hire services will be affected by the road closures and some taxi ranks will be suspended. Some temporary ranks are in place around Central London.
London Victoria coach station will be closed on Monday. Most National Express coaches are due to depart from or arrive at Victoria using Wembley Stadium instead, while rival operator Megabus will switch to Hillingdon.
River services will be operating as normal
Services across the Underground, Overground, Docklands Light Railway, London Trams and the Elizabeth line will also take part in the two silences.
TfL said: ‘Announcements to customers will be made just before the minute silence and services will continue to run.’
It added that taxis and private hire drivers and passengers are ‘also invited to observe’ the silences.
Transport chiefs said the ‘best option’ for passengers arriving at mainline railway stations will be to continue their journey on foot rather than use public transport.
London’s transport commissioner Andy Byford said TfL is ‘working around the clock’ to ensure mourners travelling around the capital can pay their respects to the Queen.
He went on: ‘It is going to be extremely busy in London on Monday and there may be short-notice changes and queues to enter stations as a result of the large number of people travelling.
‘We will be running a safe, reliable and frequent service to help ensure that everyone can travel home safely after paying their respects.
‘We would encourage people to consider making use of the wide range of facilities open across London for refreshments after the state funeral.
‘As well as allowing time to continue to pay respects, this will help ensure smoother journeys home for everybody.’
There are fears that a ‘New Year’s Eve-type mass exodus’ after the funeral cortege leaves Westminster will cause severe congestion at Tube and mainline stations, a rail industry source said.
Many Central London Tube stations will be much busier than usual, and TfL said there could be ‘some short-term safety measures such as queuing, closures, non-stopping trains or changes to the way customers enter or exit a station may be necessary’.
They added that disabled customers can approach staff so that they can avoid queuing to enter a station.
The Underground stations likely to be much busier than usual are Westminster, Charing Cross, Embankment, Victoria, Waterloo, St James’s Park, Lancaster Gate, Hyde Park Corner and Marble Arch.
Tfl confirmed the normal Night Tube and Night Overground services will run on Friday and Saturday night.
Bank holiday off-peak fares will apply and concessionary travel will be valid for use on TfL services all day. Taxis will not charge the Bank Holiday rate for journeys made on Monday, with taxi fares remaining at normal rates.
Santander Cycles will operate as normal, but some docking stations may be closed around Green Park, St James’s Park, Whitehall and Westminster.
TfL added: ‘Central London will be very busy and it may be too crowded to cycle in some areas.’
Road closures and bus diversions will continue well into next week as the removal of barriers and other event infrastructure is expected to take several days.
More than 100 Heathrow Airport flights will be cancelled to prevent aircraft noise disturbing proceedings at Westminster Abbey and Windsor Castle.
The west London airport announced that 15 per cent of its 1,200 flights due to take off or land on Monday will be disrupted. British Airways – the most-affected airline – will cancel 100 short-haul flights due to the restrictions. Virgin Atlantic said it will cancel four flights.
Meanwhile mourners travelling to London by train for the Queen’s funeral are being urged to stay for lunch to avoid overcrowding.
People visiting the city on Monday to pay their respects to the Queen should ‘take a picnic, spend time in London, raise a glass to Her Majesty and keep reviewing live travel information’, a rail industry source said.
Roads around Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament are all set to be shut until at least the start of next Tuesday – including Whitehall, Birdcage Walk, The Mall, Constitution Hill, Northumberland Avenue and Marlborough Road
There is expected to be a significant impact on roads in Kensington and Chelsea in West London next Monday – with the local authority there warning that roads from Kensington High Street south will not be accessible on the day of the funeral
The Metropolitan Police released this graphic showing road closures today, but these are set to widen by next Monday
A full weekday timetable will operate, with about 250 additional services, including some overnight trains.
Road closures announced for the Queen’s funeral
WESTMINSTER CITY COUNCIL
The following roads around Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament are all set to be shut until at least the start of next Tuesday:
- Birdcage Walk
- Buckingham Gate
- Constitution Hill
- Horse Guards Avenue
- Horse Guards Road
- Marlborough Road
- Northumberland Avenue
- The Mall
- Victoria Embankment
- Victoria Street
- Westminster Bridge
ROYAL BOROUGH OF KENSINGTON AND CHELSEA
The following roads will be closed from 6am until later in the day when police deem it safe for them to reopen:
- Cromwell Road
- Queen’s Gate
- Most other major roads
- All the bridges
TfL said that most Tube lines will remain open for an additional hour on the night after the funeral, to ensure people can ‘travel around the capital safely’.
The last services on several lines will leave central London at about 1am, compared with midnight normally.
The rail industry is confident there will be enough capacity to cope with the number of passengers, particularly as there will be few commuters due to Monday being a bank holiday.
Restrictions on the use of off-peak tickets will not apply. Network Rail said its London stations have seen a 9 per cent increase in usage in recent days compared with the same period last week.
Stationary trains are being used as overnight waiting areas at stations such as King’s Cross and Waterloo.
TfL said nearly 115,000 more Tube journeys were made to or from eight stations in the centre of London on Wednesday compared with the same day last week.
A total of 696,468 entries and exits were recorded at Charing Cross, Green Park, Hyde Park Corner, London Bridge, Piccadilly Circus, St James’s Park, Victoria and Westminster stations.
That was up 20 per cent on the total of 581,740 during the previous Wednesday.
Network Rail chair Sir Peter Hendy said: ‘We are doing all we can to help people travel to commemorative events, pay their respects and celebrate the extraordinary life of Her Majesty the Queen.
‘The railway is going to be extremely busy on Monday particularly on routes into London. This is the biggest public transport operation since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and we’re working closely with all train operators to run extra trains through the day and into the night.
‘To help us provide the best possible experience and avoid lengthy queues at stations we’re asking people not to rush home after the funeral and the processions, but to take their time and experience London on this memorable day.’
National Highways will pause planned closures of motorways serving London until after the funeral.
People are now queuing to see the Queen’s lying-in-state at Westminster Hall until Monday, on the route shown above
There is also an accessible queue route for those wanting to see the Queen’s lying-in-state, which is shown in this map
A screening site has been set up at Hyde Park which can be used by people to watch the Queen’s funeral next Monday
Martin Fellows, who is leading the organisation’s planning for the mourning period, said he wants to make journeys ‘as straightforward as possible’.
Rail firms put on 200 extra services and run overnight trains
Trains will run through the night in and out of London from tonight to help mourners visiting the capital to pay their respects to the Queen over the coming days, with around 200 daily rail services added to timetables.
Operators such as Southeastern, Chiltern Railways, Great Western Railway confirmed they will all run overnight services to and from London Victoria, Marylebone and Paddington stations respectively in the next few days.
And mourners waiting for the next departure in the early hours of the morning are expected to be invited to sit on stationary trains at stations such as Charing Cross, Euston, King’s Cross, Liverpool Street, Paddington and Victoria.
Southeastern will run overnight services every two hours from today until next Monday from Victoria to Dartford, Gillingham, Orpington and Ashford; Charing Cross to Orpington and Tunbridge Wells; and St Pancras to Ashford.
Chiltern will operate two additional overnight trains every day until Monday from Oxford to Marylebone, leaving at 1.35am and arriving at 3am; then a return journey leaving Marylebone at 3.15am and arriving at Oxford at 4.38am.
Great Western Railway said extra services in the very early morning and late evening will be laid on next Monday to take people towards London and back home again. It added that all services ‘are expected to be extremely busy’.
The extra trains are now being displayed on journey planners such as Trainline, but a rail industry source warned that the limited number of overnight services means they are ‘not something people should be relying on’.
He said: ‘We’re expecting the roads to be busy throughout the period. We’ve deployed extra resources from early (Wednesday) morning, but we will do so right the way through until after the funeral.’
Mr Fellows said some of the worst potential congestion hotspots on motorways are the M25 and roads feeding into London such as the M1, M3, M4, and M11.
He advised motorists to ‘allow plenty of time for your journey’ and make sure their vehicle is ‘well prepared’ as ‘it will be very frustrating for people to break down if they’re on their way to pay their respects’.
Westminster City Council and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea have unveiled plans for major road closures, with severe disruption expected to motorists and bus passengers as entire areas are blocked off.
Roads around Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament are all set to be shut until at least the start of next Tuesday – including Whitehall, Birdcage Walk, The Mall, Constitution Hill, Northumberland Avenue, Horse Guards Avenue, Horse Guards Road, Victoria Street, Buckingham Gate, Marlborough Road and Victoria Embankment.
Westminster Bridge will also remain closed. While pedestrians and cyclists are set to be allowed to move through most of the areas, the closures will impact public transport – and the council said bicycles may be removed.
The council also warned pedestrian access to some areas will be affected as it tries to ‘minimise the impact on residents, businesses and local communities’. It added that it was allowing resident permit holders of affected zones A, D and G to park in resident bays in other zones across Westminster until 8.30am next Wednesday.
There will be a significant impact on roads in Kensington and Chelsea in West London – with the local authority there warning that roads from Kensington High Street south will not be accessible on the day of the funeral.
Queen’s Gate and Cromwell Road – as well as most other major roads across the borough and all the bridges – will be closed on Monday from 6am until later in the day when police decide it is safe for them to reopen.
The local authority said there will be ‘significant traffic’ on Monday and told residents they will have ‘restricted access which will make it very difficult to move around the borough and get out of the borough’.
It added: ‘This will include any vehicles which may be needed to conduct deliveries to homes and businesses. Residents are encouraged not to use their cars on this day.’
The council has also asked all contractors and utility companies to complete or temporarily close down works in the borough before Sunday and for no works to take place on Monday. They may then resume from Tuesday.
The AA, which is providing signs to direct mourners and provide information on road closures and diversions, advised people to travel by public transport if possible.
AA president Edmund King said: ‘People planning to travel into Windsor and London should be prepared for delays.
‘With traffic building and car parks beginning to fill up in Windsor, we strongly urge well-wishers to use public transport to help keep traffic moving.’