UPDATE 27 AUGUST: London Underground has confirmed that the start of the Night Tube will be delayed until later this autumn, in order to "allow successful conclusion" of talks with the unions over how to staff it.
After the strikes planned for this week were called off, it became clear that significant progress had been made — it's very telling that the RMT also cancelled its overtime ban. With the original start date of 12 September fast approaching, it's not a surprise that LU has allowed the date to slip a little in order to keep whatever peace has been reached around the negotiating table.
All that's left now is to cautiously await the cancellation of strikes planned by the RMT, TSSA and Unite for 8 and 10 September, and to wonder why on earth LU decided to announce a start date without having all its staff on board.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Hands up who saw this coming? Yes, quite a few of you. The BBC is reporting that the launch of the Night Tube will be delayed.
All night running on weekends on the Jubilee and Victoria lines, and parts of the Northern, Piccadilly and Central lines, was due to begin on 12 September. However, London Underground and the unions haven't been able to agree on how it was to be staffed — with the RMT recently describing shift patterns as "rosters from hell" — and you can't have failed to notice how the row has escalated into strikes.
Unions have repeatedly called for the Night Tube launch to be delayed so everyone can find a work-life balance that suits staff, and it looks like LU has complied. (Though the RMT is not helping its cause by reportedly asking for more money in recent talks.)
Three unions — the RMT, TSSA and Unite — yesterday called two tube strikes over three days in the last week of August. ASLEF, which represents mostly drivers, has been quiet and the Mirror understands the union doesn't plan to join these strikes. But if the Night Tube really is being delayed, we'd bet on the strikes being called off.