London

Night Tube services to start in late July, says mayor

Mayor of London Boris Johnson takes the controls of a Tube simulator Image copyright PA
Image caption Boris Johnson used a training simulator being used by some of the 200 part-time drivers who will run the Night Tube service

The Night Tube service is to begin in July, London's mayor has said.

When it starts, passengers will be able to travel through the night on Fridays and Saturdays on the Victoria, Jubilee, Central, Northern and Piccadilly Lines.

It was due to start in September but was delayed due to pay and conditions disputes with unions.

Responding to Boris Johnson's July claim, Transport for London (TfL) said no date had been set, while unions said there were still issues to be agreed.

Mr Johnson made the announcement as he used a training simulator being used by some of the 200 part-time drivers who will run the service.

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A TfL spokesman said: "We are not in a position to fix an exact date but we are working to a time in late July at the earliest, to start the Night Tube service."

Image copyright Chirag Trivedi
Image caption Night Tube will run on the Victoria, Jubilee, Central, Northern and Piccadilly lines

Mr Johnson claimed the service would be "great news for those looking to work and play throughout the night" and it will give London "another economic shot in the arm".

Last year unions went on strike over the introduction of the Night Tube and other issues.

The breakthrough followed the acceptance of a pay deal by members of the two biggest Tube unions - Aslef and the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union.

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) and Unite have yet to accept the deal.

Image caption The TSSA union said the Night Tube proposals "may still go up in smoke"

TSSA leader Manuel Cortes said: "A lot of water will go under the bridge between now and then, including the fact that London will have a new mayor.

"Like Boris's broken promise to keep all booking offices open, Night Tube proposals may still go up in smoke."

Meanwhile the RMT remains in dispute over night Tube safety and is balloting 1,500 maintenance staff for strike action.

Its general secretary Mick Cash said: "We may have settled the dispute for LU staff on pay and conditions but the idea that all of the outstanding issues have been resolved, not least the safety case and the Tube Lines engineers dispute, is simply not true."

Referring to the delay in introducing the all-night service, Mr Johnson said: "We've had to go a bit slower than I necessarily would have wanted, but on the other hand better to do that... I thought Londoners would rather wait a little bit than we pay an exorbitant demand to get it done."

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