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TfL announces start date for 24-hour weekend Tube service

Transport for London has announced that the new 24-hour Tube services at weekends will start on 12 September next year.

Passengers will be able to take the ‘Night Tube’ on Friday and Saturday nights on the Jubilee, Victoria and most of the Piccadilly, Central and Northern lines. It is expected to cut night time journey times by an average of 20 minutes.

All lines will run six trains per hour with the exception of the Northern Line, which will run eight, to help cope with the busy areas of Leicester Square and Camden Town.

It will also play a vital role in opening up London's night-time economy to a host of new opportunities, supporting around 2,000 permanent jobs and boosting the economy by £360m, independent research into the economic benefits of the ‘Night Tube’ found.

Mike Brown MVO, the managing director of London Underground, said: “We are now less than a year away from the first ever 24-hour services operating on London Underground. Already over half a million Londoners use the Tube after 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and the introduction of the Night Tube, which will cut journey times and open up new possibilities across the night time economy, is a historic step in our modernisation of the Underground.

“The new service will boost jobs and will benefit the economy by hundreds of millions of pounds. We will also now be exploring any sponsorship opportunities that could make this transformative service even more cost-effective.”

Launching on the 12 September 2015 the services will arrive just in time for the Rugby World Cup being hosted in England.

The RMT rail union said it not against night-running in principle, but that the plans are a smokescreen for a “massive cuts and closure programme that will axe 1,000 staff and decimate services and safety”.

Its newly-elected general secretary, Mick Cash, said: “This proposal is now being bulldozed through without any proper risk assessment or agreement on core issues. To make this plan work we need more Tube staff not less if we are not going to be risking disaster at three o'clock in the morning when the West End is flooded with thousands of people fresh out of the pubs and clubs. 

“RMT does not believe it is an accident that this announcement comes on the day that thousands of our members begin an overtime ban on the tube over the attack on jobs, pay and safety.

“As it stands at the moment the night tube plans are not properly thought through, are being used to divert attention from the massive cuts programme and are a disaster waiting to happen."

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said: “London is a bustling, 24-hour global city and by this time next year we'll have a 24-hour Tube service to match. 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. As well as creating vital new jobs and giving a huge boost to our economy, the Night Tube will help millions of people to get around our city more easily and quickly. The evolution of the Night Tube will without doubt make London an even better place to live, work, visit and invest.”

(Image: c. Pug50)

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