London pubs welcome Night Tube despite working hours fears

By Daniel Woolfson

- Last updated on GMT

Sadiq Khan: Night Tube will be 'massive boost' to night-time economy
Sadiq Khan: Night Tube will be 'massive boost' to night-time economy

Related tags Night tube Night 21st century

Pubs and other hospitality businesses in London largely believe the long-awaited launch of the Night Tube this week will positively affect their businesses, new research claims.

A survey by the Change Group reported that 87% of businesses in the capital welcomed the Night Tube.

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), said: “It’s been a long wait but it’s great news. Pubs are vital to London’s economy, employing more than 100,000 people and paying an astonishing £1.8bn in wages in the capital.

'Great news'

“It is great news for the thousands of staff working in the hospitality trade who are often travelling home very late at night. Those working in the trade, as well as those enjoying our pubs and all of London’s nightlife, will now begin to get the 21st century tube service that they need and deserve.”

However, according to the Change Group’s research, 83% of respondents working in hospitality were concerned the Night Tube would lead to them working increased hours.

Yali McCall, a bartender working in the city, told The Morning Advertiser​: "People will completely smash their booze limits and stay out longer due to feeling more comfortable in getting home - I'll have to clean up more sick, perhaps have to work even longer into the night.

"Yes [getting the Night Tube home] will be quicker but being on a night bus with wasted people is bad enough - the tube is going to be a nightmare due to being in a confined place with people you generally don't want to associate with at that time of night. On the plus side, bars will probably smash their targets."

But freelance bartender Ross Kerslake said: "It's great, it'll make things easier for getting home after late shifts, also guests are more likely to stay longer.

"Unfortunately, it won't lead to bars with extended opening hours because the local councils and Government are anally retentive about that kind of of thing."


Craig Allen, managing director of the Change Group, said he worried some staff may not be compensated for working even later shifts – an issue the industry would have to combat.

Some 52% of respondents to the survey currently use night buses to get home from work, with 66% saying they would prefer the Night Tube over any other form of transport.

More than two thirds of staff said the Night Tube would increase job flexibility and make their commute easier. While 52% said it would improve their work-life balance and 40% believed it would create more jobs.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan told the BBC today (19 August) the initiative would be a "massive boost" to the night-time economy.

"Boris Johnson deserves credit for talking about the Night Tube, but it was important to get the details right. I'm really pleased and proud that finally it's going to happen," he said.

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