London Underground’s Night Tube Service Set For August (UPDATE)
During last July’s Tube strike. Image source: Getty
UPDATE: While RMT has accepted a deal with TfL (original story below), there are apparently some concerns in regards to engineers. Says RMT general secretary Mick Cash:
We may have settled the dispute for LU staff on pay and conditions but the idea that all of the outstanding issues have been resolved, not least the safety case and the Tube Lines engineers dispute, is simply not true.
No-one has seen any draft staffing rosters and those basic operational issues would be fundamental to hitting a start date this summer. There is very clearly some distance to go in terms of getting all of the components in place.
The whole project is being constructed against a backdrop of TfL cuts and only a fool would pretend that those cuts do not have an impact on the operational model.
After a slew of delays and strikes, London Underground’s ‘Night Tube’ service is set to begin this August. As of this point, no exact date has been given; in addition, the roll-out is expected to happen gradually and not all at once — the Victoria and Jubilee Lines will begin followed by Northern and Piccadilly in September.
The announcement of the overnight service opening comes after the acceptance of a pay deal by Tube unions Aslef and RMT (Rail, Maritime and Transport). Two others — the Transport Salaried Staffs Association and Unite — have yet to accept. Said Aslef organiser Finn Brennan:
The new drivers can see what having a strong trade union means for protecting pay and working conditions and whole groups have been joining up together. The package the union has negotiated means they are guaranteed the same benefits as existing drivers and will be able to move to full-time roles if they choose to.
Brennan also added that his union never wanted to stop the Night Tube (which was meant to have opened last Fall), as it would be a great addition for the city; the problem came via “tortuous” negotiations, which led to a number of strikes over the Summer:
We were always clear that we were in favour of night Tube… A world-class capital city such as London deserves a world-class public transport system. We are really pleased that passengers will be able to enjoy an all-night service from August, operated under agreements that have improved conditions for existing drivers and created hundreds of new jobs, and new Aslef members.
Currently, part-time Tube drivers are being trained for the new service, and are said to be ready by the planned launch date. The Night Tube map can be seen below.