Service being reintroduced initially on Central and Victoria Lines
Service will be back for the business Christmas period. Picture: TfL
Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed that the Night Tube will resume on the Central and Victoria lines on Saturday 27 November.
The service had been suspended since March 2020 due to coronavirus pandemic and the need to use drivers for daytime services.
Services on the Central and Victoria lines will run throughout the night on Fridays and Saturdays from Saturday 27 November, providing more options for passenger who need to travel at night either for leisure or for work.
TfL says it is continuing to run as many services as possible whilst seeking to secure the long-term, sustainable Government funding needed to keep running the transport network.
The Central and Victoria lines were previously two of the busiest lines on the Night Tube network.
The Night Tube was suspended during the pandemic because drivers have been needed to ensure that the Tube service during the day - where demand has been higher - is as frequent as possible. London Underground was also impacted by staff absences due to the major disruption caused by the pandemic at a time when Tube ridership dropped by over 90 per cent.
The pandemic also affected TfL’s ability to train new drivers to replace those who have left. However, Night Tube drivers were recently offered the opportunity to convert from their part-time roles to permanent full-time roles, boosting London Underground’s ability to provide an overnight service. Training still needs to take place on the other Night Tube lines – the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines – so Night Tube services on those lines can return as soon as possible. The return of these lines also has to be planned around complex operational and engineering closures.
More than 2,500 police and police community support officers and 500 TfL enforcement officers patrol London’s transport network, while thousands of frontline transport staff support customers and an extensive CCTV network is in place across the Tube which TfL says makes the Night Tube a safe way to travel.
Well over a hundred bus routes also currently run through the night.
The Tube continues to operate between approximately 5:30am and 12:30am through central London from Monday to Saturday, and TfL has started running some trains earlier on Sunday mornings to help passengers travel at those times.
The Mayor’s Women’s Night Safety Charter also sets out guidance for venues, operators, charities, councils and businesses to improve safety at night for women - including better training of staff, encouraging the reporting of harassment and ensuring public spaces are safe. Over 600 organisations are now signed up, with more joining all the time.
As London has begun to emerge from the pandemic, off-peak leisure travel has been recovering more quickly than other types of journeys, indicating that there is strong demand for services that run later into the night at the weekend. There is now regularly more than 55 per cent of journeys compared to before the pandemic on the Tube network on weekdays, but that has reached as high as 80 per cent at weekends, while ridership on buses is regularly at 75 per cent of pre-pandemic levels and on TfL rail services like London Overground it is around 60 per cent, with weekends reaching even higher. Overall TfL figures indicate that use of London’s public transport network is at around 70 per cent of pre-pandemic levels and that millions of Londoners are returning to the transport network.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The reason why I was so keen to be the first Mayor in London’s history to start the Night Tube in 2016 and to restart it now, after the Covid pause, is because I know how important this is to London’s thriving night-time economy, to London’s recovery and to the confidence and safety of everyone travelling home at night, particularly women and girls. I am determined to make our city as safe as possible for all Londoners.
“That’s why I’m delighted to see the return of the Victoria and Central Night Tube lines next month, which will make a huge difference to people travelling around our city at night and making their way home, offering them an additional safe, reliable transport option. I will continue to work with TfL and the Government to do everything we can to bring back the full Night Tube network as soon as possible.”
RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said, “RMT supports the reintroduction of the Night Tube but we know full well that prior to its suspension during the pandemic it was a magnet for violent, abusive and anti-social behaviour. The Mayor and his officials cannot ignore that fact.
“The reintroduction of the service must be thoroughly risk assessed with the involvement of our reps and it is also important that rosters are agreed which don't leave staff burnt out and exposed to intolerable pressures.
“We warned months ago that slashing two hundred Night Tube Train Driver positions would create a staffing nightmare and LU need to start facing up to that reality. “
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October 14, 2021