LONDON (Reuters) - Trains will run all night at the weekend from August 19 on two lines of the London Underground metro network in what new Mayor Sadiq Khan said on Monday would be a boost to the British capital’s night-time economy.
Plans to introduce all-night services on the Tube, as Londoners call the Underground, were one of the main causes of a long-running dispute between management and the RMT rail workers’ union that involved several strikes.
“The Night Tube is absolutely vital to my plans to support and grow London’s night-time economy, creating more jobs and opportunities for all Londoners,” Khan, who was elected mayor earlier this month, said in a statement.
The RMT said there were still unresolved issues concerning the Tube’s engineers and it urged management to move quickly to reach a settlement with that group of workers that did not leave them disadvantaged on conditions and pensions.
“All parties have to be clear that Night Tube, a development that RMT supports, cannot be delivered on the cheap,” the RMT’s General Secretary Mick Cash said in a statement.
The 24-hour weekend services will start on the Central and Victoria lines, with the Piccadilly, Jubilee and Northern lines to follow in the autumn.
The statement from Khan’s office said hundreds of thousands of late-night revellers and shift workers would benefit, with journeys cut by an average of 20 minutes and some by more than an hour.
The statement said this would support around 2,000 permanent jobs and boost London’s economy by 360 million pounds ($521 million).
($1 = 0.6911 pounds)
Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; editing by Michael Holden