The Night Tube will be returning in time for the busy Christmas period, after being suspended since March 2020 due to the pandemic.
Services on the Central and Victoria lines will run throughout the night on Fridays and Saturdays from Saturday 27 November, 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 safer routes home for women, girls and all Londoners. We continue to run as many services as possible, whilst seeking to secure the long-term, sustainable Government funding needed to go on supporting London’s recovery.
The Central and Victoria lines were previously two of the busiest lines on the Night Tube network and provide crucial links between large parts of London and the centre of the city. Restoring night running on these lines will help businesses like bars, clubs and restaurants as London’s night-time economy continues to recover following the pandemic.
The Night Tube offers a safe, low crime environment, with more than 2,500 police and police community support officers and 500 TfL enforcement officers patrolling London’s transport network, thousands of frontline transport staff to support customers, and an extensive CCTV network across the Tube.
TFL operates one of the most extensive night bus networks in the world, and it continues to ensure everyone can travel around the capital whatever the hour. Well over a hundred routes currently run through the night, while licensed and regulated taxis and private hire vehicles provide door to door transport at all times of the day. The Tube continues to operate between approximately 05:30 and 00:30 through central London from Monday to Saturday, and also started running some trains earlier on Sunday mornings to help customers travel at those times.
As London has begun to emerge from the pandemic, off-peak leisure travel has been recovering more quickly than other types of journeys, indicating that there is strong demand for services that run later into the night at the weekend. There is now regularly more than 55 per cent of journeys compared to before the pandemic on the Tube network on weekdays, but that has reached as high as 80 per cent at weekends. Overall figures indicate that use of London’s public transport network is at around 70 per cent of pre-pandemic levels and that millions of Londoners are returning to the transport network, showing they have confidence that it is safe, clean and reliable.
The Night Tube was suspended during the pandemic because drivers have been needed to ensure that the Tube service during the day – where demand has been higher – is as frequent as possible. Like other businesses across the city, TFL were also impacted by staff absences due to the major disruption caused by the pandemic, at a time when Tube ridership dropped by over 90 per cent.
The pandemic also affected TFLs ability to train new drivers to replace those who have left. However, Night Tube drivers were recently offered the opportunity to convert from their part-time roles to permanent full-time roles, boosting the ability to provide a good overnight service, while also benefitting drivers and meaning overnight services can now resume on the busiest two lines. Training still needs to take place on the other Night Tube lines – the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines – so Night Tube services on those lines can return as soon as possible. The return of these lines also has to be planned around complex vital operational and engineering closures.