Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

ALL GO FOR THE 24-HOUR TUBE; WEEKEND SERVICE THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT WILL START ON AUGUST 19; Eight Night Tubes an Hour at Busy Stations

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

ALL GO FOR THE 24-HOUR TUBE; WEEKEND SERVICE THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT WILL START ON AUGUST 19; Eight Night Tubes an Hour at Busy Stations

Article excerpt

Byline: Pippa Crerar and Dick Murray

LONDONERS will be able to travel around the capital throughout the night from Friday August 19 as the official start date for the Night Tube was revealed today.

The long-awaited 24-hour weekend service will begin on the Central and Victoria lines, with the Piccadilly, Jubilee and Northern lines following in the autumn.

For the first time in the Tube's history passengers will finally be able to travel allnight on Fridays and Saturdays after almost a year of delays. The Night Tube will help shift workers and late-night revellers get to and from outer London quickly and safely with journey times reduced by an average of 20 minutes and some by more than an hour, according to Transport for London.

The service will also play a key role in opening up the night-time economy to new opportunities, supporting around 2,000 permanent jobs and boosting the capital's economy by PS360 million. It means London joins a handful of other cities, including New York and Berlin, which run metro services through the night.

New Mayor Sadiq Khan said the Night Tube was "absolutely vital" to his plans for the capital's 24-hour economy as he announced the August start date.

"I have made getting the Night Tube up and running a priority, and London Underground has now confirmed that services on the first two lines will launch on 19 August," he said. "The constant delays under the previous Mayor let Londoners down badly."

Former mayor Boris Johnson originally announced the plans in September 2014 -- to begin operations last September -- but he did so without first getting agreement from any of the network's powerful unions.

Subsequent rows over pay, staffing and working conditions led to a series of strikes and threats of further industrial action, delaying the whole process. Mr Johnson had hoped for the Night Tube to begin before he left City Hall, viewing it as an important part of his legacy, but then pressed TfL for weeks for a start date so he could at least announce it before he stood down.

TfL chief Mike Brown said: "It is good news for London that the first ever allnight Tube service will be ready on 19 August. …

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