The Elizabeth line is finally set to open on May 24 - and it will be a ‘game-changer’ for London and the recovery of the UK’s events industry according to the CEO of ExCeL London.
With London’s largest events venue now having its own dedicated Elizabeth line station, in addition to two existing DLR stops, CEO Jeremy Rees says it will cut journey times by up to two thirds when it opens on May 24, with the resulting time saved leading to a significant increase in networking and commercial trade from delegates.
Furthermore, according to a recent report by i-Transport, the new line will see the number of people within 45 minutes rail travel time of ExCeL increase by up to 68 per cent, and those living within 120 minutes (by rail) rising to 9.2 million.
The high-speed Elizabeth line – which now becomes part of the existing TFL network – stretches more than 60 miles from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east, with 24 trains running per hour once fully operational.
For ExCeL, visitors from central London will now be able to reach the venue in as little as 12 minutes, while door-to-door from Heathrow Airport will be just 43 minutes.
Rees added: “Following unprecedented times for us all, this year is critical to the recovery of the live events industry across London and the UK. Today’s announcement that the Elizabeth line will open on May 24th is undoubtedly a game-changer that will both revolutionise and spearhead that revival.
“In addition to reducing journey times and expanding catchment areas, we expect to see an even higher percentage of C-Suite delegates attending our events as a direct consequence. In short, the Elizabeth line will give people more of that most precious of commodities – time – allowing them increased opportunities to network, learn and of course trade – just as we saw pre-pandemic when some £165 billion was transacted per year at UK events.”
Since reopening last summer, ExCeL has welcomed more than 1.5 million visitors to the venue and is set to host 350 events this year including The Meetings Show (29th - 30th June), the all-electric Formula E championship (30th – 31st July) and the International Liver Congress (22nd – 26th June).