London Underground to run 24-hour weekend tube from September 2015
Finally! People won't have to rush home from the Dirty Water Club from next year.
The launch of 24-hour weekend tube trains in London has been confirmed for next year. Trains will run through the night from 12 September 2015, with six running an hour across the five “night tube” lines – Jubilee, Victoria and most of the Piccadilly, Central and Northern lines.
Transport for London (TfL) said the move would support almost 2,000 permanent jobs and provide a £360m boost to the economy.
Demand for overnight tube services, matching New York and Berlin, has been demonstrated by the increasing numbers of late-night London Underground journeys, which have risen at twice the rate of daytime trips since 2000 – a period in which night bus usage almost trebled.
Boris Johnson, mayor of London, said: “Running trains all through the night was once thought impossible, but with the huge investment we’ve put in and upgrades that have been delivered we stand ready to take the tube to the next level. The evolution of the night tube will without doubt make London an even better place to live, work, visit and invest.”
Mike Brown, the managing director of London Underground, said: “Already over half a million Londoners use the Tube after 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and the introduction of the night tube, which will cut journey times and open up new possibilities across the nighttime economy, is a historic step in our modernisation of London Underground.”
He said TfL was seeking a sponsor for the service, despite criticism over previous deals. Neither Barclays nor Emirates’ sponsorship of the cycle hire and cable car have covered costs, while a previous deal with the Wonga loan firm for late-night tube travel at the new year caused controversy.
Unions have accused TfL of trying to divert the public from its wider programme of redundancies.
Mick Cash, the new RMT general secretary, said: “Whilst RMT is not against night running of the tube in principle, provided all staff involved are properly rewarded and that safety and security is thoroughly worked out and agreed, the truth is that the mayor threw this plan in as a diversion from his massive cuts and closures programme that will axe a thousand staff and decimate services and safety.”
The launch of 24-hour weekend tubes coincides with the start of the third-largest international sporting event, the Rugby World Cup, which will be hosted by England from 18 September. An estimated 400,000 overseas visitors are expected, with three venues hosting key matches in the capital.