Transport for London (TfL) yesterday announced details of the new Night Tube service, which the organisation says will support the city’s ‘vibrant night-time economy’ and boost business, jobs and leisure opportunities.
By 2015, London Underground trains will operate through the night on Fridays and Saturdays, initially only on the Piccadilly, Victoria, Central and Jubilee lines, and key sections of the Northern line.
The British Hospitality Association (BHA) welcomed the news, with deputy chief executive Martin Couchman claiming it ‘can only be good news’.
“This is excellent news for London hospitality businesses, not to mention tourists visiting the capital and, of course, the people who live and work here,” said Couchman. “London is a 24-hour city with world-beating hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions and a fantastically vibrant bar and club scene.
“An Underground service which supports and embraces this can only be good news. The British Hospitality Association has been calling for a transport system which reflects the needs of real Londoners and visitors to the capital for some time so this announcement is definitely good news.”
The Association of Licensed Multiple Retails (ALMR), which has campaigned about this issue for five years, also welcomed the news.
The organisation’s strategic affairs director Kate Nicholls said: ““It will be a huge boost to pubs and bars in London when it is delivered. Customers coming in to go to the theatre or to shop will feel more comfortable staying for a drink or meal, confident that they can get home quickly and safely at the end of the night. We will finally have a modern transport system which meets the needs of a £1.5bn industry.
“More importantly, later running of the tube will make it safer for our staff and customers to get home and reduce crime, disorder and nuisance by encouraging gradual dispersal. That will be the biggest benefit – the trade will no longer get the blame for flashpoints caused by an inadequate transport infrastructure.”
Pub and bar operators also welcomed the move, with Adam Marshall, chief executive of London-based bar group Grand Union, telling our sister title the Publican’s Morning Advertiser it is ‘fantastic news’.
“It’s the ability to go out and have a great night and not be so concerned about getting home. We’ve got some very busy bars that kick out at two in the morning. To have the option to get home the way you came in a great thing for most people,” said Marshall.
Upon announcing the news yesterday, London Mayor Boris Johnson said: “For 150 years, the Tube has been the beating heart of London, its tunnels and tracks providing the arteries that have transported millions of people and helped to drive the development and economic growth of our great city.
“Now it is time to take the Tube to the next level and so for the first time in London’s history, we will provide a regular 24-hour ‘Night Tube’ service at weekends. This will not just boost jobs and our vibrant night-time economy, it will further cement London’s reputation as the best big city on the planet to in which to live, work, visit and invest.”
For more information visit Transport for London.