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Night Tube strike ‘ludicrous’ and ‘futile’

London Underground workers are planning to stage a 24-hour strike tonight over the introduction of the new night Tube service.

The members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT), Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA), and Unite are planning a walk out at 6.30pm, while ASLEF drivers will begin a strike from 9:30pm.

Responding to the action, David Leam, Director of Infrastructure Policy at London First, said:

“This strike is a futile attempt to hinder the introduction of a modern service on the London Underground.

“We are a global capital with a thriving hospitality and entertainment sector. Yet every weekend those enjoying the capital’s nightlife are let down by a service that closes too early.

“Cities such as New York already offer a 24/7 service, while many others stay open later than ours. Running the Tube through the night will generate more jobs in the entertainment sector, make London more attractive to tourists and make journeys safer and easier for those who work late.

“The unions should now drop their ludicrous claim that the night tube is a ‘vanity project’ and get back to the negotiating table to strike a deal that works for London as a whole.”

London First has previously welcomed the announcement that London Underground would run a 24-hour ‘Night Tube’ service at weekends.

Independent research into the economic benefits of the Night Tube, commissioned by London First and Transport for London, found that the new service will boost jobs and help maintain London’s status as a vibrant and exciting place to live, work and visit.

The research found:

  • Around 1,965 permanent jobs will be supported by the Night Tube – 265 through direct operation of the service and 1,700 indirectly in the night-time economy.
  • The net additional output produced as a result equates to an additional £360m over 30 years.
  • Time savings will be on average 20 minutes, but up to an hour will be saved on some routes.
  • The 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

There are also further ‘unquantifiable benefits’, including:

  • 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 further out.
  • Potential for longer operating hours for bars, clubs, restaurants, bowling alleys, cinemas, museums, art galleries and attractions.

The latest updates on the strike can be found here.

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