Unions welcome delay to night tube launch
London Underground says agreement is ‘not far’
THE launch of the Night Tube service, opposed by union workers, has been delayed.
Initially set to start on September 12, the 24-hour weekend service has been postponed for further discussions with the unions.
Running on the Jubilee, Victoria, and most of the Central, Northern and Piccadilly lines, the Night Tube service will cut journey times by an average of 20 minutes according to Transport for London.
General Secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT), Mick Cash, said: “RMT welcomes this move which is what we have been calling for ever since we went into dispute over the Night Tube issue.
“We warned repeatedly that it would be dangerous and foolish to press ahead with bodged Night Tube plans until the very basics in terms of staffing and safety had been agreed with the unions through the longestablished frameworks.
“This move by TFL proves that our members were right to strike and were right to warn the public about the consequences of the mad rush to introduce the Mayor’s Night Tube plans without agreement. The fact that the plans have now been suspended indefinitely to some vague date ‘in the autumn’ is clearly a massive embarrassment to both Boris Johnson and George Osborne but gives us an opportunity to now get the basics that should have been sorted months ago worked out through direct negotiation.
“In the meantime, our action scheduled for early September remains on.”
Union workers were set to strike this week over the Night Tube Service and pay, but announced the suspension of industrial action on Monday, August 24.
London Underground managing director, Nick Brown, said: “Further to the progress made in recent days with the trade unions and the suspension of strike action, we believe we are not far from an agreement that protects the work-life balance of our employees and is affordable, sustainable and fair. As such, we have decided to defer the introduction of Night Tube to allow more time for those talks to conclude.
“Our objective is to reach an agreement that ends this dispute and delivers the Night Tube for Londoners this autumn.”
London First, an organisation that aims to improve business in London conducted research into the economic benefits of the Night Tube and found the new service will boost jobs and help maintain London’s status as a vibrant and exciting place to live, work and visit. The research reportedly found that around 1,965 permanent jobs will be supported by the Night Tube with the net additional output produced as a result will equate to an additional £360m over 30 years.
The Night Tube will mean Londoners and visitors to the capital can travel on the following lines on Friday and Saturday nights and the early hours of Saturday and Sunday mornings:
Central line: trains will run between Ealing Broadway and Loughton/Hainault
Jubilee line: trains will run on the entire line
Northern line: trains will run on the entire line except on the Mill Hill East and Bank branches
Piccadilly line: trains will run between Cockfosters and Heathrow Terminal 5
Victoria line: trains will run on the entire line