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PRESS RELEASE2 Dec 2011

Lewis Hamilton toasts free travel on London transport to welcome in the New Year Download file

Lewis Hamilton gets a lesson in Tube driving as he launched Diageo’s sponsorship of free travel on London Tubes, buses, trams  and some trains this New Year’s Eve

The Mayor of London and Transport for London (TfL) announce partnership with Diageo to support free New Year’s Eve travel for next three years

In a bid to encourage party goers to get home safely this festive season, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton today launched Diageo’s Responsible Drinking campaign and sponsorship of free travel on London Tubes, buses, trams  and some trains this New Year’s Eve.

This season the advertising campaign will feature across the TfL network including on Tubes, buses and Tube stations promoting responsible drinking. In addition, Tube travellers at selected central London stations will receive top tips and free bottles of water on some of the busiest party nights of the year as part of Diageo’s ongoing commitment to a safer night out. 

A number of celebrations will be taking place across the Capital including the spectacular fireworks display on the Southbank organised by the Mayor of London. Londoners will benefit from free travel on service from 23:45 on New Year’s Eve until 04:30 on New Year’s Day. Tube, DLR and tram services will run all night on New Year’s Eve, as well as night buses and 24-hour bus routes as usual. Free travel will also apply to London Overground trains running after 23:45 until last train times.

Speaking at the launch, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton said, “Whilst we all want to have a good time this party season, a good time will be a better one if you can remember it and get home safely. Diageo sponsoring free travel is going to make it a little easier for us all to get home this New Year’s Eve and this campaign will remind us to drink responsibly for a great night out.

“Through my work with Diageo on Johnnie Walker for the Join the Pact campaign I have been part of many responsible drinking initiatives and I hope today serves as a timely reminder to people in London to have fun but be responsible.”

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said, “London has a tremendous amount to offer over the festive period, and this fantastic deal will allow party goers to welcome the New Year in the world's most fantastic city, and still get home cheaply and safely, late into the night."

Andrew Cowan, country director for Diageo GB, commented, “Responsible drinking is at the heart of everything we do and is never more important during the festive season.  Getting home safely is often the final stage of a great night out but it is just one part which is why we are using our sponsorship of free travel this New Year to remind people to drink responsibly.

Mike Brown, Managing Director of London Underground, said: “It is important during the festive period that people should plan their journeys in advance, using our online Journey planner or our 24 hour London Travel Information phone line.

“Tens of thousands of people stand to benefit from the sponsorship deal thanks to the Mayor and Diageo.  With so many people choosing to enter the New Year in the Capital, it is important that we are able to provide services that will be running throughout the night to get them home safely .”

TfL has been providing free travel for party goers on New Year’s Eve since it was created in 2001. Diageo has signed a three year deal with TfL to sponsor free travel on New Year’s Eve in the Capital. The inaugural campaign includes responsible drinking promotion from 9 December until the New Year. In addition, free bottles of water featuring responsible drinking tips will be given away at selected Central London Tube stations during the busiest party nights of the year. The campaign is part of Diageo’s responsible drinking programme which includes the sponsorship of public awareness campaigns to promote responsible drinking, targeted interventions and initiatives focused on those who misuse alcohol, and providing support for initiatives to boost safety in the night-time economy.

Detailed travel information for the festive period will be available next week to passengers across the TfL network.

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