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Diageo sponsors free travel home on New Year’s Eve  

For the second year running, as London gears up to celebrate the end of an unforgettable year for the capital, Transport for London and Diageo have teamed up to ensure everyone gets home safe on New Year's Eve – free of charge.

Party goers in London will benefit from free travel on services from 11.45pm on 31st December until 04.30am on New Year's Day. Tube, DLR, Tramlink and bus services will run all night and free travel will also apply to London Overground trains running until last train times.

An army of thousands will work through the night on New Year's Eve as Diageo sponsors free public transport in London. Over the course of the evening some remarkable statistics will be realised across the capital:

  • Tube train doors will open and close around 64,000 times between 11.45pm and 4.30am
  • More than 19,000 bus stops will be visited by nearly 8,000 buses
  • Buses will collectively clock up at least 40,000 miles on the capital's roads to get everyone home after the party
  • The transport network's 400 escalators will cover a total of 39,000 miles during the night – equivalent to lapping the world one and a half times!
  • A total of 561,496 miles will be travelled to get around 2.5 million people home
  • From its highest point (147m above sea level, the Metropolitan line near Amersham) to its deepest section (32m deep on Jubilee line through central London), travellers on the - Tube will rise and fall by almost 180m – that's almost two football pitches.

The team at London's West Ham bus garage prepares for 40,000 miles of travel as Diageo announces sponsorship of free public transport for New Year's Eve

Andrew Cowan, country director for Diageo GB, commented: "This is a time for great celebrations, especially after what has been a tremendous year for Great Britain. As always we want to remind everyone that the best celebrations are those that are enjoyed responsibly.

"Getting home safely is the conclusion to a great night out, and we hope our campaign this year will encourage everyone, on New Year's Eve and throughout the festive period, not to let good times go bad by drinking too much."

Graeme Craig, Director of Commercial Development at TfL said: "We are delighted to enter our second year of sponsorship with Diageo to ensure those celebrating the end of what has been a fantastic year for the capital and seeing in the new one can get home safely. We do advise passengers to check before they travel and be aware that some buses may be on diversion due to road closures."

On Thursday 13th December, the date when most Christmas parties were expected to take place across the capital, tube travellers at central London stations received oyster card holders featuring top tips from Drinkaware for a great night out in the run-up to Christmas.

This year, for the first time, Diageo will also sponsor free bus travel in Edinburgh for the Hogmanay celebrations. The world renowned Hogmanay event will host 80,000 partygoers, 20,000 of whom   will be able to travel home free of charge on Lothian bus services. Free buses will run from 00:20am to 04:00am on Tuesday 1 January from the city centre to a range of destinations.

Lorraine Martin, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Diageo Scotland, said the company was delighted to be involved. "Hogmanay is a major occasion for celebration worldwide, with Edinburgh now leading the way in showcasing how to have a great party and enjoy a unique experience in a fantastic environment. What we are bringing is an opportunity for revellers to have the assurance that they will have access to a safe and convenient journey home at the end of the night," she added.

"We fully endorse the responsible drinking approach and with something like 20 services leaving from eight departure points every 15, 20 and 30 minutes after midnight until 4.00am, we are expecting the free buses to be a hugely popular, useful and reassuring part of another memorable Edinburgh Hogmanay experience."

Up and coming Edinburgh band, Bwani Junction, will open Edinburgh's Hogmanay Concert for headliners Simple Minds and special guests The View. Early in December, the band enjoyed some rehearsal time on top of a Lothian Bus as the countdown continued to their opening set. The Edinburgh quartet are being championed by the BBC and their album ‘Fully Cocked' was nominated for 2012 Scottish Album of the year.

Bwani Junction - Fergus Jack Dan and Rory are joined by Lorraine Martin from Diageo and Gavin Crowther from Lothian Buses to support free bus trans

Diageo's sponsorship of free travel home in London and Edinburgh is part of the Drinkaware ‘Why let good times go bad' responsible drinking initiative. Visit www.drinkaware.co.uk to learn more or Diageo's own global resource www.DRINKiQ.com for information and guidance on responsible drinking.

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