|Night Tube and London Overground Night Service|
|Locale||Greater London 02|
|Transit type||Rapid transit|
|Number of lines||6|
|Began operation||19 August 2016 (2016-08-19)|
|Operator(s)||London Underground (5 lines)|
London Overground (1 line)
The Night Tube and London Overground Night Service, often referred to simply as Night Tube, is a service pattern on the London Underground ("Tube") and London Overground systems which provides through-the-night services on Friday and Saturday nights on the Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly, and Victoria lines, and a short section of the London Overground's East London line. The service began on the night of Friday 19 August 2016, providing 24-hour service on these routes from Friday morning to Sunday evening each weekend. It was suspended from Friday 20 March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the service partially reopening on Saturday 27 November 2021.
Since the London Underground's inception, the practice of running night-time services has been difficult, mainly due to night-time noise, and maintenance work that is usually carried out during the night. General mass upgrades to the overall London Underground network from the late-1990s onwards, along with large infrastructure improvements to stations and signalling,[note 1] plus the building of Crossrail (with the future probability of Crossrail 2) which will have sections going underground to connect with the main London Underground system, made it possible to introduce a limited night-time Tube service.
TfL announced in mid-2014 the introduction of the Night Tube. The initial plans were for Friday and Saturday through the night services on a limited number of lines, with, on average, a train every 10 minutes or less, continuing from around midnight when train services usually close to around 5 a.m. and into the usual morning service.
The planned service was on the whole of the Jubilee and Victoria lines. In addition to that, there was planned services on the Central line between Ealing Broadway and Hainault or Loughton, the Northern line between Morden and Edgware or High Barnet via Charing Cross,[note 2] and the Piccadilly line between Cockfosters and Heathrow Terminal 5.[note 3] The service was scheduled to launch on 11/12 September 2015, with the prospect of expansion across further lines in subsequent years. However, due to strike action, the start of the Night Tube was postponed until 18 August 2016.
Members of several unions decided to take strike action in relation to the terms and conditions being offered by London Underground, largely regarding agreements specifically over the pay deal and hours worked by new Night Tube service personnel. Members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA), and Unite officially started the first 24-hour strike at 18:30 BST on 8 July 2015, and the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (ASLEF) drivers starting their 24-hour action from 21:30 BST on 8 July 2015, with disruption occurring several hours either side of the start and finish times. London Underground warned there could be no services on Thursday as a result of the walk-out. The strike affected all Tube lines and finished at 21:30 BST on 9 July 2015. A second 24-hour strike action by London Underground trade unions took place from 18:30 BST on 5 August 2015 until 05:00 BST on 7 August 2015, and there was no service at all on 6 August 2015.
Three unions also threatened to strike on 25 and 27 August 2015, where talks were held between the unions and London Underground for negotiations. ASLEF decided not to participate in the planned strikes. On 27 August 2015, it was announced that the start date for the Night Tube had been pushed back due to ongoing talks about contract terms between trade unions and London Underground. Following agreement of new terms by TfL and the unions, Night Tube operations were confirmed to start in the second half of 2016.
The first Night Tube train ran on the night of Friday 19 August 2016, with the Central and Victoria line services starting that night. The Jubilee line services started on 7 October 2016, the Northern line on 18 November 2016[note 4] and the Piccadilly line on 16 December 2016.
On 15 December 2017 the London Overground started the East London line night service running between Dalston Junction and New Cross Gate. This was extended to Highbury & Islington on 23 February 2018.
Night Tube services were suspended from Friday 20 March 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was originally planned to restart in Spring 2021, but in April 2021 it was announced that the service would stay closed until at least 2022. However, in November 2021, Night Tube services on the Central and Victoria lines reopened for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.
- Central line services combine between White City and Leytonstone to run 6tph / every 10 minutes. Services between Ealing Broadway and White City run 3tph / every 20 minutes, going to Hainault, but coming from Loughton.
- Northern line services combine between Camden Town and Morden to run 8tph / every 7-8 minutes. All trains operate between Camden Town and Kennington via the Charing Cross branch.
TfL estimated that the Night Tube would lead to the creation of 1,965 permanent jobs, the net additional output produced as a result equating to an additional £360m over 30 years (i.e. £12m per year). These include:
- An estimated 1,965 permanent jobs supported by the Night Tube — 265 through direct operation of the service and 1,700 indirectly in the night-time economy, taking into account impacts on London's night-time economy and the additional London Underground staff required.
- Time savings of, on average, 20 minutes (but in some cases up to an hour) on some routes.
- Standard business case shows that for each £1 spent on delivering the Night Tube, benefits will be £2.70. Adding in wider economic impacts increases this benefit by £1.20 for every pound spent.
In addition to the above quantifiable benefits, other benefits TfL believed the service was likely to deliver include:
- Reduced demand for illegal minicabs, thus improved safety in taxis at night.
- Improved commuter journeys for many people who work during the night-time in central London but live outside the centre.
- Potential for longer operating hours for pubs, bars, clubs, restaurants, bowling alleys, cinemas, museums, art galleries, and other attractions.
- Reduced congestion at stations after events at entertainment venues like the O2, as people are not in such a rush to leave to catch the last Tube as events finish.
- Improved accessibility to Heathrow for passengers flying or entering before 07:00 at the weekend.
Notes and references
- These include the Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria line capacity upgrades. Upgrades to major stations include Green Park and King's Cross St Pancras, while others had improvements such as addition of Help Points, new induction loops to assist hearing-impaired passengers and step-free access.
- The Bank branch is not served by Night Tube due to nighttime construction on that branch, in relation to the Bank station upgrade.
- The initial plans did not include the Central line between Leytonstone and Loughton (as of 9 December 2014).
- Night Tube services did not stop at Charing Cross until 29 June 2017 due to improvement works on the Northern line ticket hall.
- "Night Tube: London Underground service to resume on two lines". BBC News. 14 October 2021. Retrieved 14 October 2021.
- "What's Happening on Your Line". What We Are Doing. Transport for London. Archived from the original on 9 March 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
- "Northern line Upgrade One Step Closer" (Press release). Transport for London. 26 February 2013. Archived from the original on 22 August 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
- "Tube Upgrade Ahead of Schedule as Jubilee line Reopens Two Days Early" (Press release). Transport for London. 29 December 2005. Archived from the original on 22 August 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
- "Victoria line Upgrade Takes Another Step Forward" (Press release). 17 July 2006. Archived from the original on 22 August 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
- "New, Blue and Improved Piccadilly Line" (Press release). 16 May 2005. Archived from the original on 22 August 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
- "Transformation of Green Park station Nears Completion" (Press release). 6 September 2011. Archived from the original on 22 August 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
- "King's Cross St. Pancras Doubles in Size as State-of-the-art Ticket Hall Opens" (Press release). 27 November 2009. Archived from the original on 22 August 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
- "King's Cross St Pancras tube station is Step-free with 10 New Lifts" (Press release). 27 September 2010. Archived from the original on 22 August 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
- "Station Refurbishment Summary" (PDF). London Underground Railway Society. July 2007. Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 May 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
- "Step-free Access". Transport for London. July 2017. Archived from the original on 22 August 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
- "The future of the Tube – Transport for London – Night Tube". Transport for London. Archived from the original on 23 August 2015. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
- "TfL 90993 – Impact of the Night Tube on London's Night-Time Economy – Transport for London" (PDF). Transport for London. September 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
- "'Historic' new Night Tube service – Transport for London". Transport for London. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
- Campbell, Bridget; Papworth, John (9 July 2015). "Bank Underground Station Capacity Upgrade Inspectors Report — Secretary of State for Transport and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government" (PDF). The Planning Inspectorate. Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 August 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
- Standard Night Tube Map (PDF) (Map). Transport for London. May 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 July 2020.
- "Night Tube Map". Transport for London. 2014. Archived from the original on 9 December 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
- "'Night Tube' weekend service to launch in September 2015". BBC News. BBC. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
- "'Night Tube' gets September 2015 launch date". The Daily Telegraph. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
- Hargreaves, Ruth (24 September 2014). "London 'Night Tube' Start Date Announced". Londonist. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
- "All-night Tube service may be delayed". BBC News. BBC. 12 August 2015. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
- "Tube strikes: London Underground drivers' union decides not to take part". The Guardian. 12 August 2015. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
- "Tube strike: London Underground delays as strikes begin". BBC News. BBC. 8 July 2015. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
- "Tube strike to bring London Underground to standstill from Wednesday - how will it affect me?". The Daily Telegraph. 4 August 2015. Archived from the original on 4 August 2015. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
- "Night Tube start date postponed as talks continue". Sky News. 27 August 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
- "Over 50,000 journeys completed on London's first Night Tube services". Transport for London. 20 August 2016. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
- "Night Tube: Jubilee Line service to begin and Northern Line gets start date". BBC News. 7 October 2016. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
- "Night Tube services to begin on the Northern Line". BBC News. 18 November 2016. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
- "Charing Cross station Opens for South Londoners on the Night Tube". News Shopper. 1 July 2017. Archived from the original on 22 August 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
- "London night tube services to Heathrow start this weekend". The Guardian. 16 December 2016. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
- Standard Night Tube Map – July 2017 (PDF) (Map). Transport for London. Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 August 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
- "London night tube services to Heathrow start this weekendCoronavirus: London cuts Tube trains and warns 'don't travel unless you really have to'". Sky News. 19 March 2020. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
- "Coronavirus: Night tube service on London Underground may not resume until Spring 2021". Kilburn Times. 5 June 2020. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
- "Out of service: Night Tube won't return until 2022, TFL boss reveals". 9 April 2021.
- "Central Line Working Timetable 69" (PDF). TfL. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 December 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- Night Tube (TfL) – official Night Tube site. As of 2021[update] services listed, preceded by heading "Night Tube services are currently suspended".
- London Overground Night Service (TfL) - official London Overground Night Service site. As of 2021[update] services listed, preceded by heading "The London Overground Night Serice is currently suspended".