London Underground To Begin 24-Hour Weekend Service In 2015
Transport for London (TfL) has announced that tube trains will begin a 24-hour weekend service from 12th September 2015. The service will run along five lines: Jubilee, Victoria, (the majority of) Piccadilly, Central and Northern. TfL expects the change in service to solidify 2,000 jobs permanently and bring in £360 million for the city’s economy.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson stated:
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 — London Underground’s managing director — has also revealed that “over half a million Londoners use the Tube after 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays”, and bringing in the new schedule will be “a historic step in our modernisation of London Underground”.
He did add that they are seeking a sponsor for the service (think Barclays and Emirates sponsorship of the cycle hire and cable car, which incidentally isn’t enough to cover the costs of the new train service). There are also some negative response on the move, such as the one from Rail, Maritime and Transport Union’s (RMT) new general secretary Mick Cash:
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.
Also coinciding with the new 24-hour service: next year’s Rugby World Cup (18th September), which is expected to bring in about 400,000 international visitors.