All-night tube services will be extended to most underground lines, the DLR and the London Overground, London Mayor Boris Johnson announced today.
Last year, TfL said night tube services would begin on 15 September 2015, and run on the Jubilee and Victoria lines, as well as most of the Piccadilly, Central and Northern lines.
But before we get too excited, the 24 hour service won't be rolled out to the DLR, Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines until 2021. London Overground users will be able to use the night tube from 2017. At the moment, services from central London stop at 12.30am on Fridays and Saturdays, leaving revellers to face the horrors of the night bus or fork out for a taxi.
The extended service was announced by the Mayor and chancellor George Osborne as part of a government plan to create up to 500,000 jobs and boost London's economy to the tune of £6.4bn.
Needless to say, the timing of the announcement has led to some criticism from the usual quarters. Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union leader Mick Cash, said:
"This announcement has been dropped on London by the Mayor as a blatant pre-election stunt without a shred of consultation with the union. RMT is not opposed to extended running but there are massive issues on staffing, safety and maintenance which have not been addressed and which would need to be signed off by our reps."
Labour London Assembly Member Tom Copley said:
“This is a very welcome announcement but with the general election only a couple of months away and no real detail about this project, Londoners will rightly question the Mayor's ability to deliver given he is increasingly checked out of City Hall.
“With fares up more than 40% under Boris Johnson passengers rightly expect to see improvements but the fact is these plans won't come into effect until well after Boris Johnson and George Osborne have left power.
London's transport infrastructure will be growing to meet its ever-increasing population — £10bn of government funding is planned, including new buses as well as improving roads and cycling provision.