London Underground (LU) set out its decision to defer the launch of the Night Tube, which will see regular weekend night time services operate on the Tube for the first time in its 150-year history.
The Night Tube will transform night time journeys across London for millions of people. Journey times will be cut by an average of 20 minutes, with some cut by more than an hour, and London’s night-time economy will be opened up to a host of new opportunities, with the Night Tube supporting around 2,000 permanent jobs and boosting the economy by £360m.
Practical arrangements for the introduction of the Night Tube are now in place. However, as London Underground continue discussions with trade unions on rosters this means that it will not now be possible to agree these and communicate them to staff in time for the Night Tube to be launched on 12 September. As LU has made clear, the Night Tube will not be introduced on this date at any cost to fare and tax payers.
As a result, and following two weeks of constructive talks with trade unions which led to the suspension of this week’s planned strikes, LU has decided to defer the launch to allow for the successful conclusion of those talks and agreement that delivers the Night Tube this Autumn, and avoids any further strike action.
LU Managing Director, Nick Brown, said: “Further to the progress made in recent days with the trade unions and the suspension of strike action, we believe we are not far from an agreement that protects the work-life balance of our employees and is affordable, sustainable and fair. As such, we have decided to defer the introduction of Night Tube to allow more time for those talks to conclude. Our objective is to reach an agreement that ends this dispute and delivers the Night Tube for Londoners this Autumn.”