Millennium Post

50,000 take London Night Tube service on inaugural night

The first night went without a hitch. The beginning of the overnight subway services has put the British capital in league with other major cities around the world offering a 24-hour underground transport network.

The service is likely to come as a boost for revellers, tourists and shift workers who on weekend nights will be able to travel on the network at any chosen hour. Khan said the night service will come as a “huge boost” for the British capital. “You can feel the buzz, you can feel the vibe. People are really excited,” he said.

“What’s important is we got the detail and the planning right. I’m really pleased that 100 days or so after becoming the mayor we’ve got that right,” he said as he took a ride on the first train on the Victoria Line Underground Friday night.

The plan to run services beyond the midnight deadline was announced in November 2013 and was to kick-off in September last year. After a number of missed start dates, the first night Tubes - finally started this weekend.

Transport for London (TfL), which is in-charge of London’s transport network, said there was a “huge demand” as passenger numbers on weekends had soared by 70 per cent since 2000.

TfL said 50,000 people used the Night Tube Friday night. The numbers are expected to reach 200,000 once all five lines are open, BBC reported.

Night Tube services are expected to add 6.4 billion pounds to London’s economy by 2030, creating 500,000 jobs, it said. The plan was first announced by former London mayor Boris Johnson but faced delays as workers’ unions staged a series of strikes during July and August last year before an agreement was reached on pay in March this year.

“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,” his successor, Khan, noted.

London Underground appointed Mark Wild as managing director to launch the services considering his experience of launching a similar service in Melbourne, Australia, earlier this year. “What happened there is what I expect will happen here. It’s not just for revellers. It’s for the night-time economy: people working in hospitality, shift workers, nurses. We expect a nice mix of people who enjoy the fantastic nightlife of the city, but it’s also a lot about giving people mobility,” Wild said. 

There are also plans to expand the service to parts of the Metropolitan, Circle, District, and Hammersmith & City lines after modernisation and on parts of the London Overground in 2017 and the Docklands Light Railway by 2021.

Around 100 British Transport police officers will be on patrol across the network on Friday and 
Saturday nights. 
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