Pub trade welcomes 24-hour weekend Tube move

By John Harrington; Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Night-time economy London underground

From 2015, weekend services will run through the night
From 2015, weekend services will run through the night
The pub trade has welcomed news that the London Underground is to open for 24 hours a day on key lines on Friday and Saturday evenings from 2015.

Transport for London (TfL) announced the move today, which it said would “support London’s vibrant night-time economy and boost businesses, jobs and leisure opportunities”.

From 2015, weekend services will run through the night on core parts of the system, initially comprised of the Piccadilly, Victoria, Central and Jubilee lines and key sections of the Northern line.

“This network, which will be expanded to include other lines in subsequent years, will dovetail with existing 24-hour and Night Bus services to give passengers an extensive and integrated service throughout the night,” TfL said.

'Huge boost'

Kate Nicholls, strategic affairs director at the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser​ that the body has been campaigning for the move for the past five years and it will be “a huge boost” to pubs and bars in London.

“Customers coming in to go to the theatre or to shop will feel more comfortable staying for a drink or meal, confident that they can get home quickly and safely at the end of the night. We will finally have a modern transport system which meets the needs of a £1.5 billion industry,” she said.

“More importantly, later running of the tube will make it safer for our staff and customers to get home and reduce crime, disorder and nuisance by encouraging gradual dispersal. That will be the biggest benefit – the trade will no longer get the blame for flashpoints caused by an inadequate transport infrastructure.”

British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds added: "It’s welcome news. Better public transport is always good news for London’s pub trade, so we’ve long supported extra Tube running hours at the weekend.

"Pubs are crucial to the London economy, employing over 100,000 and providing £1.8 billion in Londoner’s wages. While most pubs in central London aren’t open after Tube running hours, some certainly are, and pubs usually form part of a great night out in London."

'Fantastic news'

Pub and bar operators also welcomed the move.

Adam Marshall, chief executive of London-based bar group Grand Union, said it is “fantastic news”.

“It’s the ability to go out and have a great night and not be so concerned about getting home. We’ve got some very busy bars that kick out at two in the morning. To have the option to get home the way you came in a great thing for most people.

“At the moment you will spend £100 to go out on a Saturday night but then £50 to get home in a cab. It’s ridiculous.”

Staff home

Steve Locke, co-founder of Be At One, which operates 18 sites in the capital, said: “It can only be a good thing, if we can help our guests get home from our places that’s great, but also it will help our staff with getting home.”

Janet Dooner, licensee of the Railway Tavern in Stratford, said it is “good news” but it would only affect the trade of pubs in central London.

“It won’t help our trade. If anything it will take people further west from Stratford.”

'The beating heart of London'

London Major Boris Johnson said: “For 150 years the Tube has been the beating heart of London, its tunnels and tracks providing the arteries that have transported millions of people and helped to drive the development and economic growth of our great city.

“Now it is time to take the Tube to the next level and so for the first time in London’s history, we will provide a regular 24-hour ‘Night Tube’ service at weekends.

“This will not just boost jobs and our vibrant night-time economy, it will further cement London’s reputation as the best big city on the planet to in which to live, work, visit and invest.”

For more information visit Transport for London

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