24-hour Tube in Lon­don on track

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - TRAVEL 2013 -

LON­DON: Bleary-eyed trav­ellers strug­gling to make their way to Heathrow air­port for a crack-of­dawn flight will have wel­comed news that the cap­i­tal is to get a 24hour Tube ser­vice.

Trans­port for Lon­don an­nounced it will run a par­tial ser­vice overnight on Fri­days and Satur­days for the first time from 2015.

Online travel agents have pre­dicted the in­tro­duc­tion of night Tubes will boost de­mand for weekend flights from Heathrow.

The com­pany said Heathrow would be­come the pre­ferred air­port for pas­sen­gers, as it is the only one on a Tube line – the Pic­cadilly line.

Love­hol­i­days.com also said a 24hour Tube ser­vice would mean fewer peo­ple would book cabs to and from the air­port, opt­ing in­stead to use the un­der­ground.

The travel agent claimed peo­ple would put the money they save by not us­ing a cab to­wards some­thing ex­tra for their hol­i­day or spend a lit­tle more on their trip.

What they won’t be spend­ing on, though, are “hol­i­day ex­tras” such as air­port park­ing or an overnight ho­tel, which are also ex­pected to suf­fer as de­mand drops.

The com­pany said peo­ple would opt to re­turn from their trip on a Fri­day or Sun­day night to make use of the all-night Tube ser­vice, rather than fly mid-week. This would give them the weekend to re­cover from any jet­lag or hol­i­day over-in­dul­gence and catch-up with fam­ily and friends be­fore re­turn­ing to work.

Love­hol­i­days.com’s Al Fran­cis said: “We be­lieve a 24-hour Tube ser­vice will have a knock-on ef­fect on peo­ple’s travel de­ci­sions, in­clud­ing where they pre­fer to fly from, the time of flight they are pre­pared to get, and what day of the week they want to fly out and re­turn.

“Peo­ple will be more will­ing to take flights at ‘ unso­cia­ble’ times be­cause the 24-hour ser­vice will mean it will be eas­ier to get across Lon­don to and from the air­port.

“Whereas in the past they may have been in­clined to book an air­port ho­tel the night be­fore an early flight, or on their re­turn if they ar­rive back into the UK in the early hours, they will in­stead be able to jump on the Tube from Heathrow and make their way home.”

Weekend ser­vices will run through the night on core parts of the sys­tem from 2015.

Lon­don Mayor Boris John­son, who an­nounced the plans, said: “For 150 years the Tube has been the beat­ing heart of Lon­don, its tun­nels and tracks pro­vid­ing the ar­ter­ies that have trans­ported mil­lions of peo­ple and helped to drive the de­vel­op­ment and eco­nomic growth of our great city.

“Now it is time to take the Tube to the next level and so, for the first time in Lon­don’s his­tory, we will pro­vide a reg­u­lar 24-hour Night Tube ser­vice at week­ends.

“This will not just boost jobs and our vi­brant night-time econ­omy, it will fur­ther ce­ment Lon­don’s rep­u­ta­tion as the best big city on the planet to in which to live, work, visit and in­vest.

All Tube of­fices are to be closed by 2015 and sales au­to­mated. Trans­port for Lon­don said it would be bet­ter for cus­tomers and save mil­lions of pounds a year. – Daily Mail

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