Mayor considers night tube boost

Sadiq Khan is considering providing a more frequent service on the late night underground reports Noah Vickers, Local Democracy Reporter

London mayor Sadiq Khan.
London mayor Sadiq Khan. Credit: Noah Vickers/Local Democracy Reporting Service

The number of Night Tube services during the ‘peak’ period after midnight could be boosted, Sadiq Khan has revealed.

The mayor said Transport for London (TfL) is looking at whether a more frequent service could be provided during the busiest part of the night, though there are no immediate plans to expand the network to cover more Underground lines.

The Night Tube currently operates on five of the Underground’s 11 lines – the Victoria, Jubilee, Central, Piccadilly and Northern. The London Overground also operates night services on the former ‘East London line’ between Highbury and Islington and New Cross Gate.

The service runs on Friday and Saturday nights only, with fewer trains than during the day. On most of the current Night Tube network, services are every 10 minutes, although they can be as often as every seven or eight minutes on much of the Northern line, or as few as every 20 minutes on the outer edges of the Central line.

During the mayoral election, Khan’s Tory opponent, Susan Hall, promised to expand the Night Tube to cover the Hammersmith and City line, followed by the District, Circle and Metropolitan lines “when feasible”.

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Khan’s campaign team immediately pledged to do likewise, saying: “Sadiq wants to do this – and if re-elected will work to secure the funding for expanding the Night Tube to these four lines.”

The mayor’s night czar, Amy Lamé, said last year however that TfL’s “tight finances” meant there were “big financial challenges” in growing the network to cover more lines.

In a written question to the mayor following his re-election, Andrew Boff – a Conservative London Assembly member – asked for an update on his Night Tube expansion plans.

The mayor said: “TfL keeps the Night Tube service under review and I have made it clear I would like to see the service expanded to more lines when circumstances allow.

“TfL has also begun to look at the case for improving Night Tube frequencies on the existing lines between approximately 00:00 and 01:30 as this period is the busiest part of the current Night Tube offering.”

It is unclear what specific level of improvement TfL is looking to bring to the Night Tube’s frequencies, though it is understood that they would not be increased to the same level as daytime services.

TfL said it was unable to comment further due to pre-election rules which affect local authorities in the weeks before a general election, with the mayor’s office also saying it had no further detail to add at this stage.

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