Published: 21st August 2016
The prospect of all-night tube services started three years ago when it was recognised that London is a 24/7 city. No longer do passengers just wish to travel over an 18 hour timespan every day but round the clock at weekends in particular. And with main line trains running earlier in the morning and later into the night, onwards connections were needed.
With increasing shift work and growing numbers of tourists, city workers need to be able to get to work whatever their shift pattern. These night services were announced as starting a year ago but Union resistance and recruitment for the extra shifts proved a difficult set of tasks to overcome.
These first nocturnal services carried over 50,000 passengers on the Central and Victoria lines with 6,500 passengers travelling from Oxford Circus and 4,250 got off at Stratford. The services were launched by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan in the early hours when he travelled from Brixton on the first Victoria Line Night Tube.
Sadiq Khan said: “It’s wonderful that so many thousands of Londoners were able to benefit from a faster and simpler journey home overnight. The Night Tube is going to provide a huge boost to our capital and very clearly demonstrates that London is open. It was a real pleasure for me to see first-hand how workers and those who had been out enjoying everything our city has to offer could take advantage of this fantastic new service.”
Mark Wild, London Underground’s Managing Director, said: “Night Tube got off to a superb start last night with thousands of people making use of the new services. I was out on the network myself last night seeing our staff and British Transport Police officers helping customers travel around the Capital safely.”
Transport for London said that Night Tube services will cut late-night journey times by an average of 20 minutes, and in some cases by more than hour when compared to the London night bus network.
Weekend underground demand has risen by around 70 per cent since 2000 and demand for night buses rose by over 170 per cent in the same period with half of bus passengers travelling to or from work. The Night Tube has been estimated to support 2000 permanent overnight jobs in London’s economy which will be boosted by around £77million a year.
Over 500 of these jobs have been created directly by the service following a recruitment drive for new part-time drivers, station staff, maintenance workers and service control staff employed as well as new British Transport Police officers patrolling the network.
Because of recruitment issues, former tube staff were asked if they would return to work for weekend night services at over £20,000 a year.
Initially there will be six trains per hour through central London between 0030hrs and 0530hrs. London’s Mayor is contributing up to £3.4 million towards policing for the Night Tube with around 100 officers out overnight. Trains run overnight on Friday and Saturday nights and the early hours of Saturday and Sunday mornings as follows when the full service is operating by Autumn.
Central line: trains will run between Ealing Broadway and Loughton / Hainault
Victoria line: trains will run on the entire line
Jubilee line: trains will run on the entire line
Northern line: trains will run on the entire line except on the Mill Hill East and Bank branches
Piccadilly line: trains will run between Cockfosters and Heathrow Terminal 5
Eight new 24-hour bus services have been introduced to connect with Night Tube services. These are as follows:
• 34 (Barnet Church to Walthamstow Central)
• 123 (Ilford High Road to Wood Green)
• 145 (Leytonstone to Dagenham)
• 158 (Stratford to Chingford Mount)
• 296 (Ilford Broadway to Romford)
• E1 (Greenford Broadway to Ealing Broadway)
• W3 (Finsbury Park to Northumberland Park)
• W7 (Finsbury Park to Muswell Hill Broadway).
These will run at 30 minute intervals on Friday and Saturday nights with the W7, which will run every 20 minutes.
Transport for London (TfL) has updated its web based travel planner to include the new services. The information is available without cost at: tfl.gov.uk/developers and is part of TfL’s commitment to make real-time travel information openly available to help developers create better products and services for customers.
Night Tube service information will also be available on TfL’s in-station digital customer information boards and through the Journey Planner on the TfL website.