The world’s oldest subterranean transport network, the London Underground – which first opened in 1863 – up until very recently only ever operated up to midnight, or 1am at the latest on weekends. As of 19 August, this all changed, and the Tube can now boast that some of its lines operate 24 hours a day on Fridays and Saturdays, with a train every ten minutes, right up to late Sunday evening.
The Night Tube, as it has come to be known, started off with two lines, the Central and Victoria, both of which cross right through the heart of the city, from east to west and north to south, respectively. October should see a broadening of the service, taking in the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines.
The London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, said that the night service will be of benefit not only to partygoers, but also night workers, such as nurses and security guards, as well as tourists.
In addition, TFL (Transport For London), London’s public transport service, highlight the economic benefits for pubs, clubs and theatres, with potentially an extra 2000 jobs being created. London First, an organization which works to boost London’s thriving economy, has calculated that the service increase could generate as much as 77 million pounds for the city over the course of the next 15 years.
The Underground transports over a billion passengers a year. TFL estimate that once the service is fully expanded, the extra trips the Night Tube will require are in the region of 180 thousand each night (between 00:30 and 06:30).
It is a change which everyone was crying out for, and is entirely fitting for such a vibrant and busy city, where it will now be even easier to enjoy the weekends. Make the most of it! Just don’t forget to Mind the gap!