Transport for London (TfL) has announced that, from this weekend, all Night Tube services will be fully restored after they were suspended in March 2020 due to the pandemic. Services on the Piccadilly line return on the evening of Friday 29 July and will run throughout the night on Fridays and Saturdays. The return of this line means a complete restoration of the weekend Night Tube and Night Overground services previously available to customers, providing more options for safe travel around the city.
Night Tube services across the capital have been steadily returning to support with London’s economic recovery, with the Central and Victoria lines being the first to start operating from November 2021. This was further bolstered this summer with the return of the Jubilee and Northern lines in May and June 2022. In addition, Night Overground services between Highbury & Islington and New Cross Gate returned in December 2021.
London’s recovery from the pandemic has been driven by a safe and reliable public transport network that serves the city night and day. The complete restoration of Night Tube services will allow Londoners and visitors to make the most of all the capital has to offer on weekend evenings with shorter journey times, whilst also providing late night travellers another safe way to return home.
The complete restoration of Night Tube services on London Underground marks a key moment in London’s recovery. The return of the final Piccadilly line Night Tube services comes at a time in the year where many holiday goers are in need of travel options to and from Heathrow Airport throughout the night to continue their journeys. Since the return of the Night Tube service in November 2021, 3.2m entries and exits have been recorded – demonstrating customers’ continued confidence that services are safe, clean and reliable. Weekday ridership on the Tube network has grown to 70 per cent of pre-pandemic levels and weekend ridership is now regularly above 85 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.
The Night Tube offers a safe, low crime environment. TfL has dedicated British Transport Police officers patrolling stations and trains during Night Tube and Night Overground services to provide support and reassurance to staff and customers. Across the TfL network, there are more than 2,500 police and police community support officers and 500 TfL enforcement officers who patrol London’s transport network, while thousands of frontline transport staff support customers and an extensive CCTV network is in place across the Tube. All stations that are open through the night are staffed at all times to ensure passengers always have someone to speak to should they have any questions or need assistance. Customers are now able to report safety concerns directly to the British Transport Police (BTP) through the new ‘Railway Guardian’ app or by texting 61016.
TfL also operates an extensive night bus network along with the Night Overground, to ensure everyone can travel around the capital throughout the night. More than one hundred routes currently run through the night and ridership on buses is regularly at 80 per cent. In addition, licensed and regulated taxis and private hire vehicles provide door-to-door transport at all times of the day. The Tube continues to operate between approximately 05:30 and 00:30 through central London from Monday to Saturday.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I’m delighted that from this Friday there will be a complete Night Tube service running once again. The full return of the Night Tube is at the heart of my vision to build a better and safer London for everyone. It shows our city is bouncing back.
“I know this will be welcome news for Londoners and visitors to our city, helping people to make the most of everything on offer in the capital and supporting those working at night. Having all Night Tube lines running again will play a vital role in our city’s recovery from the pandemic, boosting the night-time economy and helping people get around the city overnight at weekends.”
London’s Night Czar, Amy Lamé, said: “I’m thrilled that the Night Tube is returning to the Piccadilly line on Friday and Saturday nights. The return of all Night Tube services will enable those working throughout the night to travel to and from work safely and cheaply. Importantly, for the city’s night-time businesses, this will also give Londoners and visitors more ways to access and enjoy the capital’s world-leading hospitality and entertainment after dark.”
Nick Dent, TfL’s Director of Customer Operations, said: ”It’s great to see that our Night Tube services will be back to full strength this weekend, with the Piccadilly line Night Tube service resuming tomorrow evening. This will complete the reintroduction of all five Night Tube lines following a difficult two years. Night Tube provides a safe and quick travel option for all Londoners and visitors looking to make the most of all the capital has to offer in the evenings, and those who need to travel to or from work at night. The summer is the perfect time for Londoners and visitors to enjoy everything in the city and we hope the full return of the Night Tube will be a further boost to the capital’s recovery.”
Ros Morgan, Chief Executive, Heart of London Business Alliance, said: “This is an essential next step to support our world-leading night-time offering in the West End. As visitors and employees return to London, a safer and reliable mode of transport is a crucial service to help raise footfall and aid the economic recovery of our businesses. Alongside our plans to bolster the evening and night-time economy and support the businesses within it, we welcome the Night Tube’s full reinstatement.”
Michael Kill, Chief Executive Officer, Night Time Industries Association, said: “We are extremely pleased to see the Night Tube services back to full capacity, with services on the Piccadilly line returning on 29 July, running through the night. Following a tough few years, it’s great to see the industry and key stakeholders working together to re-establish these important transport links.
“As London starts to regain its pre-pandemic business levels, it’s vitally important we build back confidence in our transport infrastructure and promote a safe and accessible night-time economy for customers and workers to travel throughout the capital.”
Heathrow’s Chief Commercial Officer Ross Baker said: “We are expecting a busy summer period and we want all of Heathrow’s passengers and colleagues to have access to good public transport at the times they need it. We welcome the reintroduction of the Piccadilly line Night Tube service, to build on the network that keeps the UK’s hub airport connected to London and beyond.”
The RMT has now suspended strike action on Night Tube services that was scheduled to take place until 4 December over new rosters, meaning that all Night Tube services will run as they did before the pandemic.
Due to ASLEF strike action on Saturday 30 July, there will be no Night Overground service on the evening of 30 July and the early hours of 31 July. Customers are advised to check before they travel, full information is available at tfl.gov.uk/rail-strike.
During the summer period, TfL services are supporting customers night and day to enjoy their time in the city by promoting great discounts and events for all the family to visit that can be easily accessed using public transport. TfL is helping Londoners to enjoy the city by teaming up with Official London Theatre’s annual Kids Week initiative to release thousands more of ‘kids go free’ tickets for a range of top West End shows. Throughout August, Kids Week gives children aged 17 and under the chance to see a London theatre show for free when accompanied by a full paying adult. There are also discounts at London Transport Museum, where children go free, as well as many food and drink destinations across the capital to help customers to keep enjoying London for less.
Photo credit: Transport for London