After three years of planning, the London Night Tube officially launched last weekend, helping the city maintain its status as a vibrant and dynamic place to live, work and visit. This saw the underground open for the first time for a 24-hour service, running Friday and Saturday nights following in the footsteps of cities including New York, Berlin and Sydney.
More than 100,000 people took advantage of London’s Night Tube service over the 48-hour period, with this number expected to rise to 200,000 once the service is fully functioning. Currently, the Victoria and Central lines are in 24-hour operation with the Northern, Jubilee and Piccadilly lines expected to follow later in the year.
Demand for the underground has steadily increased over recent years, with 70% more passengers when compared to 2000 levels and over half a million people using the Tube after 10:00pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Moreover, the demand for night buses has increased by 170% in the past 15 years further highlighting the need for an alternative method of late night transport.
There are various benefits forecast for the new scheme. Transport for London estimates that more than half of night bus passengers are using the bus to commute to and from work. The Night Tube will reduce these journey times by an average of 20 minutes, with some cut by up to an hour. The scheme will also play a vital role in enhancing London’s night-time economy, supporting almost 2,000 permanent jobs and adding £360m to the economy. Cultural benefits may also be experienced with pubs and music venues able to open later with reduced congestion and demand for minicabs.
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