TfL announced plans, on January 30, to extend tube hours on Fridays and Saturdays to 2am, following the success of extending opening hours during the Olympics. But the Overground will not be part of the plan.
The extended hours will start with the Northern, Victoria and Jubilee lines in 2015. The extension and maintenance work on the Northern line is scheduled to be complete in 2015.
Mark Shaffer, owner of White Rabbit, The Alibi, Birthdays and Macbeth, all in Hackney, spoke to Eastlondonlines about how he feels his businesses will be affected by the plans to extend the timetable- plans which have conspicuously failed to include East London.
“Night life has driven and accelerated regeneration in east London. But London has to reinvest some of the money earned by this sector back into the area’s infrastructure. “
“Any move to improve late night public transport in London should be applauded, but it needs to be focused on the areas where Londoners are going out. Dalston and Shoreditch are obvious choices for increased late night capacity.”
“The east London Overground could help solve a lot of issues if it ran later. By making it easier and safer for people to get home after a night out, there would be less problems on the streets. This should help the police and local residents.”
A spokesperson for the London Overground Rail Operation said: “The tube timetable extension is not fully planned nor is it imminent. Extending the hours on the underground would be easier as the trains run more frequently and there is more foot traffic in central london. There has been more public outcry for the underground hours to be extended.”
The changes to the tube timetable will bring London into line with other international big cities; New York City’s Metro system runs 24 hours and Paris has extended times on their Metro on weekends and holidays.
The transport unions welcome the opportunity for more jobs, but fear that the extended hours will cut into vital maintenance time. Negotiations regarding hours, pay and various changes will be held in the future.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “For the millions of Londoners, visitors, and businesses who rely on our Underground system every day, it is imperative for us to employ every feasible technique to run the best Tube operation possible.
“As we saw during the Olympics, a smooth and efficient transport system can make or break the success of our city, and we are building on the lessons we learnt during that triumphant period to cut delays.”
The extended hours are supported in the London area and according to TfL the extra revenue would compensate for the extended timetable.
At the moment the last Victoria Line train leaves Oxford Circus at 12:40am and the last Northern line train leaves Leicester Square at 12:40am on Fridays and Saturdays.