Night tube service to resume on two lines next month – The Guardian

London Underground

TfL says resumption on Central and Victoria lines will make journeys safer, particularly for women

London’s night tube service will partially resume next month, having been suspended throughout the pandemic.

Trains will run through the night on Fridays and Saturdays on London Underground’s Central and Victoria lines from 27 November, in a move that should provide safer travel for many people and boost the recovery of bars and restaurants.

However, the rest of the former night tube network – the Northern, Piccadilly, and Jubilee lines – will remain closed until at least 2022 owing to funding and staffing issues.

Transport for London said reopening the night tube would make journeys shorter and safer for all Londoners, and women in particular. The other lines would reopen “as soon as possible”, it said, as it seeks to secure long-term, sustainable government funding to replace billions in lost fare revenue since the start of the pandemic.

A petition to reinstate the night tube to protect women has reached almost 140,000 signatures in less than two weeks, with women’s safety in the capital under intense focus since the killings of Sabina Nessa and Sarah Everard this year.

Ella Watson, a student, started the petition, saying a “well-lit and well-connected tube network, with platform CCTV and appropriately trained security staff, serves as the best transport option to ensure millions of women across London can get home safely in the evenings and at night”.

Sadiq Khan on the opening of the night tube on Victoria line in August 2016. Photograph: Alecsandra Raluca Drăgoi/The Guardian

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “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.”

He said the reopening of the lines would “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.”

The night tsar for London, Amy Lamé, said the reopening was “hugely welcome news to the capital’s night-time businesses, which have been hit so hard by the pandemic”.

Michael Kill, the chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association, said: “With a focus on vulnerability, and the safety of women at night and thousands of night workers within London, we must push to get the full service established at the earliest opportunity and open London’s late-night economy fully to the public.”

Tube passenger numbers have recovered to about 55% of pre-Covid levels, and the demand for off-peak leisure travel is now comparatively much higher, at as much as 80% of 2019 figures at weekends.

The RMT union said safety was affected by fewer frontline staff on stations. Its 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 antisocial behaviour.”

TfL said it would continue to monitor noise and vibration levels on the tube network to minimise disturbance as night services resume. It will also look into the reopening of night services on Overground lines.












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