Transport for London said Night Tube service will not return until at least 2022 as there was no immediate demand and personnel have been diverted to other services.
Transport commissioner Andy Byford told The Evening Standard newspaper the Friday and Saturday that through the night services on the Victoria, Jubilee, Central, Northern and Piccadilly lines would be the last to return.
He said there would be night buses for those trying to get home after nights out drinking.
Safer for workers
The night time economy is hoping for a revival in the coming months, with indoor hospitality set to reopen from 17 May and other hard-hit businesses in the sector from 21 June.
UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls said: “Our focus is obviously currently on more short-term priorities but once the sector is back up and operating without restrictions, night tubes would be of great value to the sector as it looks to recover and revive.
“They would help venues with later closing times to make the most of reopening and, crucially, provide safer, cheaper and more convenient transport for hospitality workers.”
She added: “It’s hard to know yet how quickly customers will return to central London but making it easier for them to get in and out of town of an evening would certainly be a boost.”
Fundamental to operation
The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) urged Transport for London and Mayor Sadiq Khan to help the night time economy deal with the delayed return of the night tube.
NTIA's CEO Michael Kill said: "The Night Tube is fundamental to the operation of the night time economy in London, the suggestion of this service not returning until 2022, will be catastrophic to the sector and will without doubt leave many frustrated given the volume of customers expected over the next few months.
“This must be resolved by Transport for London and the Mayor as a matter of urgency, this service is brought back in time to support the high volume periods before the end of this year."
“There needs to be a contingency plan in place as a failsafe for late night economy businesses, and a working strategy for managing dispersal in light of the challenges presented by limited service.”