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The time is right for overnight Tube journeys

London First has welcomed the announcement that 24-hour ‘Night Tube’ services at weekends will begin operation from 12 September 2015, transforming night time journeys across London for millions of people.

The announcement comes as 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.

Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First said:

“If we were to build the Underground afresh today, there is little doubt a round the clock service would be part and parcel of it.

“New York – ‘the city that never sleeps’ – has had a 24-hour subway since it opened 110 years ago.

“In Europe, Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Berlin already have a night service, while Paris is examining the prospect right now.

“Running the Tube through the night will help bring investment and jobs to the hospitality and entertainment sectors.

“The city will become more attractive to tourists, while the extended service will make journeys safer and easier for staff who help keep this great city running in the small hours.

“It will also be a hugely helpful in making the most of one of London’s key competitive advantages – geography.

“London sits in a plum time zone between East and West and this is a major reason so many international businesses are based here.

“Giving people easier access to the city, whenever they need it, will help companies communicate more effectively with the far flung markets they serve.

“I predict that a year after the new service has been running, we’ll wonder how we ever did without it.”

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