Transport for London (TfL) has announced that Night Overground services will return next month in time for London’s festive celebrations. The all-night services, which link key areas in the city’s night-time economy such as Shoreditch, Hoxton and Upper Street in Islington, have been suspended since March 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic.
Night Overground services between Highbury & Islington and New Cross Gate will run every 15 minutes throughout the night on Fridays and Saturdays from Friday 17 December, making it faster, easier and safer for thousands of Londoners to get around.
Restoring this service means customers can once again easily access these areas of London, rich with restaurants, bars and nightspots. Reintroducing these 24-hour services at weekends will also help the 1.6 million people who work at night in London and will provide another safe transport option for all Londoners.
These services will complement the returning Night Tube, providing a convenient interchange with the Victoria line at Highbury & Islington. This, along with easy access to Night Tube on the Central line, via a walk between Shoreditch High Street and Liverpool Street stations, will open up large parts of London and the city centre for all-night rail travel.
Rory O’Neill, TfL’s General Manager of London Overground, said: “I’m pleased that the Night Overground will closely follow the return of the Night Tube and deliver a huge boost to the night-time economy and help our customers get around during the busy pre-Christmas period. An extra safe, green and affordable transport option for those working late or enjoying London at night will help ensure that London’s recovery is strong and sustainable.”
As London has begun to emerge from the pandemic, off-peak leisure travel has been recovering more quickly than other types of journeys, indicating that there is strong demand for services that run later into the night at the weekend. Ridership on London Overground is around 71%, with weekends reaching even higher. The Tube network on weekdays now regularly sees more than 60% of journeys compared to before the pandemic, but this has reached as high as 80% at weekends.
Customer safety and security remain TfL’s top priority, and London’s public transport offers a safe, low crime environment. In addition to more than 2,500 police and police community support officers, all stations along the route are staffed at all times while trains are running, with CCTV, modern lighting and help points available across the network to assist customers as required.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I am delighted we have managed to ensure that the Night Overground will be returning next month, linking up diverse and vibrant areas of London with all the nightlife they have to offer, just in time for the festive period. Coming only a few weeks after the return of the Victoria and Central Night Tube lines, this is another important milestone as London’s vibrant night-time economy continues its recovery from the pandemic.
“I am determined to make the capital as safe as possible for all Londoners, especially women and girls, and the return of the Night Overground will make a huge difference to those who are travelling home late at night, offering another quick, easy and safe way for people to travel around the city.”