Night Tube launches in London

Richard Furlong - City Surveys Group

Home » Night Tube launches in London

Published: 30th August 2016

This Article was Written by: Richard Furlong - City Surveys Group


After a three-year wait, the first overnight London Underground services have finally begun, with tens of thousands of passengers making use of the later Tube services during their first weekend of limited operation.

Routes opened overnight on the Central and Victoria lines, ahead of a wider roll-out of the late-night Tube, and an estimated 50,000 customers travelled using them on the first Friday night.

Transport for London suggested that the extra flow of late-night passengers will help to boost London’s 24-hour economy, as well as supporting potentially thousands of jobs across the city.

Oxford Circus led the charge with 6,500 passengers ‘tapping in’ using their travel cards, while at Stratford station it was the number of people disembarking the Tube that was more significant, with 4,250 people ‘tapping out’.

Sadiq Khan, the recently elected Mayor of London, was aboard the first Night Tube out of Brixton to formally launch the new Victoria Line service, and welcomed the large number of people who took full advantage of the service.

He 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.”

London Underground’s managing director Mark Wild echoed his words, saying: “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.”

TfL say demand for travel late into the night is increasing, with late Tube services seeing rising demand at a rate twice as much as that for daytime trips, and a 170% increase in passenger numbers on night buses in London since the start of the millennium too.

Passenger numbers on the Tube itself have soared too, with a 70% increase in usage on Friday and Saturday nights since the year 2000.

With the introduction of Night Tube services, the average journey time by rail will be 20 minutes shorter, with some routes slashed by as much as an hour or more.

This means Londoners can get home faster, in relative safety and at a fair cost, not just for those who have been out partying, but also for those whose shift pattern means they need to get to and from work during the less sociable hours of the night and early morning.

According to TfL data, over 50% of passengers on London night busses are travelling to or from work, and this in particular are expected to benefit greatly from being able to take the Tube instead.

Estimates predict that 2,000 permanent jobs in the so-called night-time economy will be created or supported by the Night Tube service, creating a £77 million boost to London’s economy as a whole each year.

More than 500 positions are a direct result of the service itself, for example new station staff and maintenance workers, control staff, part-time night drivers, and an increase in the British Transport Police presence on the Tube network overnight.

All Night Tube lines will run six services per hour through central London from 00:30 through until 05:30, with the entire Jubilee and Victoria lines covered.

Most of the Northern line will be serviced too, except for the Bank and Mill Hill East branches, while trains will run from Ealing Broadway to Loughton/Hainault on the Central line and from Cockfosters to Heathrow T5 on the Piccadilly line.

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