Final preparations are underway for London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display with non ticketholders being advised to avoid the event area and consider other celebrations across the capital.
Today, Londoners and the capital’s visitors are getting ready for one of the busiest nights of the year, which will see hundreds of celebrations taking place in restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs across the city.
A massive operation is now underway to complete preparations for the New Year’s Eve fireworks display at the London Eye, with 100,000 revellers able to access prime ticketed viewing areas alongside the River Thames. Last year, the event was watched by almost 14 million people on television (it’s live on BBC1 if you fancy just getting some beers in and saving yourself for TNT’s Australia Day Party on Sunday, 25 January from 11am – midnight at Infernos, Clapham – free entry if you pre-register).
The hugely popular New Year celebration is being ticketed for the first time following concerns about the numbers wanting to see the display – an estimated 500,000 attempted to see it last year, the majority of whom were disappointed and unable to get into the viewing areas. Ever larger numbers each year have put enormous strain on transport, infrastructure and the ability of the emergency services to move around.
Ticketing has been introduced in a bid to manage crowd numbers and “ensure the display’s longer term sustainability as a safe and enjoyable event”.
Organisers are advising people without tickets to avoid the Embankment and Southbank areas unless they have already booked their place at alternative celebrations in the vicinity.
The display includes 5,500 fireworks cues, 2,000 lighting cues, 12,000 fireworks producing 50,000 projectiles, and 30 tonnes of equipment on the three fireworks barges situated on the river in front of the London Eye.
Road closures will begin as early as 2pm, with most closures in place from 8pm, stretching from Oxford Street in the north to Elephant and Castle in the south and Vauxhall Bridge in the west to Southwark Bridge in the east. There will also be some bridge closures. Some central London Tube stations will become exit only, be closed completely or for periods at a time for crowd control and safety purposes.
For updates about the London New Year’s Eve Fireworks go to www.london.gov.uk/nye and for live updates on the night follow #londonnye.