Sadiq Khan Confirms London's Night Tube Will Return In November

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Image via WikiCommons
Image via WikiCommons

There aren’t many aspects of life that haven’t been thrown off course by the pandemic these past couple of years, but for Londoner’s trying to make the most of the gradual return of night life (and indeed workers whose jobs don’t fit the 9-5 template), one element in particular has been sorely missed: the Night Tube.

Even though pretty much every restriction has been lifted, public gatherings are back on and most people are slowly returning to work, the Night Tube has been on indefinite hold—until now that is. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and Transport For London (TfL) have announced that from November 27, London’s Night Tube will be reopening the east-west Central Line and the north-south Victoria Line on the usual Friday and Saturday nights. They also promised to open more lines “as soon as possible”.

It’s an issue that’s always been at the forefront of Londoners’ minds, but it’s become even more pressing in the wake of the murders of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa. Campaigners argued that without access to the tube at night, the safety of women and girls was at risk.

According to TfL, the delay in getting the service back up and running was due to a backlog in training staff. Back in August, members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union had threatened to strike over changes to pay for Night Tube drivers, but these were called off and talks continued. Meanwhile, the Associated Society of Locometive Engineers and Firemen agreed to TfL’s plans to resume the service.

“Night Tube drivers were recently offered the opportunity to convert from their part-time roles to permanent full-time roles, boosting London Underground’s ability to provide a good overnight service while also benefitting drivers and meaning overnight services can now resume on the busiest two lines,” TfL said. “Training still needs to take place on the other night Tube lines—the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines—so night Tube services on those lines can return as soon as possible. The return of these lines also has to be planned around complex vital operational and engineering closures.”

Sadiq Khan, who is also the chair of TfL, said: “The reason why I was so keen to be the first Mayor in London’s history to start the Night Tube in 2016 and to restart it now, after the COVID pause, is because 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 added: “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. 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.”