Thursday 14 October 2021 11:20 am

TfL to reopen Night Tube on Central and Victoria lines

Sadiq Khan has announced today that the Night Tube will be back open next month on the network’s two largest lines.

The 24-hour weekend London Underground service will resume on the Central and Victoria lines from November, after being suspended at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It comes after a wave of complaints in recent weeks that the lack of a Night Tube, and reduced numbers of Uber drivers in the capital, was making London less safe for women.

Services will run non-stop on the two lines from Friday morning to Sunday night from 27 November.

Transport for London (TfL) said the Night Tube will also return on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines “as soon as practicable”.

“TfL is working hard to resolve resourcing issues on these lines and there are other considerations such as the upcoming closure of the Bank branch of the Northern line,” a statement said.

Khan said: “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.”

The Night Tube was shut by Khan and TfL in March last year as the UK went into its first coronavirus lockdown.

The mayor said previously that there were not enough drivers to man the Night Tube, while also running its daytime service.

Passenger numbers on the Tube network are around 55 per cent of what they were pre-pandemic, with this figure rising to around 80 per cent on weekends.

Nick Bowes, chief executive of the Centre for London think tank, said the partial reopening of the Night Tube was “fantastic news for the capital”.

“Not only will this give many Londoners the confidence they need to feel safe travelling at night, whether for work or leisure, but it will also boost London’s night time economy and encourage people to enjoy what’s on offer in our city after dark as Christmas approaches,” he said.

City Hall has been criticised in recent weeks for not opening the Night Tube, with one petition calling for its return reaching more than 135,000 signatures.

Women’s groups said the lack of transport options available of a night time in the capital was creating a dangerous environment.

Michael Kill, chief executive officer at the Night Time Industries Association, said the Night Tube’s return on two lines is a  “step in the right direction”.

“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,” he said.

Mick Lynch, general secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), 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 nayor 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.