Tube customers are advised that the RMT’s planned strike action could cause severe disruption on Central and Victoria line Night Tube services this weekend. The planned action will disrupt Night Tube services throughout December, with a 24-hour strike also planned for Saturday 18 December on five lines (Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria).
Transport for London (TfL) is warning customers that both the Victoria and Central lines could be severely disrupted from 19:00 onwards on Friday 3 and Saturday 4 December, with the potential of little or no service from this time overnight on 3-5 December, 10-12 December and 17-19 December. Customers are advised to check before they travel and use buses to complete their journeys where required.
This weekend’s planned strike action is part of a further four nights and one full day of disruption ahead of Christmas, which will impact Londoners and the city’s recovery at a crucial time. The RMT has taken this action over new rosters, which have been agreed by the other recognised union and were introduced for Tube drivers in August. This strike action has been called despite the new rosters including assurances that there will be no job cuts, providing certainty and the option of permanent work for those on part-time contracts and only scheduling four night shift weekends per year – shifts which can be swapped with colleagues for duties at other times of day if that works better for them. Talks between TfL and RMT are ongoing as TfL seeks to try and avoid this unnecessary action.
Night Tube services were reintroduced on the Central and Victoria line on the evening of Saturday 27 November. Despite RMT strike action, TfL was able to deliver a service throughout the night. A near-normal overnight service ran on the Victoria line, with a train every 10 minutes, and a consistent service ran through the city on the Central line. However, the impact of the strike action depends on the number of drivers booking on each weekend, so customers are advised to check before they travel on Night Tube services for the most up to date information.
Nick Dent, London Underground’s Director of Customer Operations, said: “We’re urging Night Tube customers to check before they travel this weekend ahead of more disruptive RMT strike action on the Central and Victoria lines. While I’m pleased we managed to run a safe and regular service on the Night Tube last weekend despite strike action, there is still a chance of severe disruption this weekend and up to Christmas. We’ve been in talks with the RMT for months to try and avoid this needless strike action. I apologise to customers for the disruption they may face and urge the RMT to continue talks with us, rather than threatening London with further strikes at a crucial time for its recovery.”
TfL had previously announced that the Night Tube will be returning in time for the busy Christmas period after being suspended since March 2020 due to the pandemic, providing more options for customers who need to travel at night either for leisure or for work, while also making journey times shorter and offering additional safe routes home.
Staff will be available to offer assistance to customers, with plain clothes and uniformed British Transport officers also on hand to ensure staff and customer safety. Further information will be available ahead of, and during, the strikes at tfl.gov.uk/tube-strike as well as on the TfL Go app, TfL website and Journey Planner.
TfL announced recently that night services on London Overground will be restored on Friday and Saturday nights between Highbury & Islington and New Cross Gate from 17 December 2021. No strike action is planned to disrupt Night Overground’s return.
Night Tube services on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines will return to service as soon as possible. TfL is working hard to resolve resourcing issues on these lines and there are other considerations such as the upcoming closure of the Bank branch of the Northern line to allow completion of the upgrade at Bank Tube station.
In line with new Government regulations on the wearing of face coverings on public transport from Tuesday 30 November, all customers travelling on the TfL transport network must wear face coverings for the duration of their journeys or risk being fined, unless they are exempt. TfL’s 500 uniformed enforcement officers and the police will be out across the transport network ensuring that customers comply with the Government regulation. Anybody who does not comply may be refused entry, directed to leave the network or face a fine.
Photo credit: TfL