Extensions to Night Tube Provision Likely to Be Shelved

No prospect of service on District, Circle or Hammersmith and City lines

Night Tube Returns on the Piccadilly Line
The Night Tube currently operates on five lines

April 3, 2023

Tight finances at Transport for London (TfL) mean the Night Tube is unlikely to be expanded at any point in the near future, figures at City Hall have suggested.

Introduced in 2016, and expanded in 2017-18, the service covers five of the Tube’s 11 lines, as well as the Overground’s East London line.

Mayor Sadiq Khan had outlined proposals to further grow the network in his 2018 Transport Strategy, but his spokeswoman said that because those plans did not anticipate the Covid pandemic and subsequent funding crisis, they were no longer an accurate depiction of Mr Khan’s priorities.

Asked in a recent interview whether she wanted to see the Night Tube expanded, Mr Khan’s Night Czar, Amy Lamé, said: “It’s not a secret that TfL has had some financial challenges, due to the pandemic and due to the way central Government has been treating TfL. I’d say for the future, nothing is off the table, but I think there are big financial challenges.”

The Night Tube was one of the first services to be suspended at the start of the pandemic, and was only reopened several months after the last lockdown ended – with the Northern and Piccadilly Lines taking until July 2022 to reopen.

A spokeswoman for Mr Khan said a further expansion of the Night Tube would first be dependent on the completion of a project known as the Four Lines Modernisation programme – a scheme to transform the track and infrastructure shared by the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines.

The original timeline for the project’s signalling upgrades was scrapped due to the pandemic, though the programme has continued to make progress since then.

The spokeswoman said: “The Night Tube continues to play a vital role in boosting London’s night-time economy, enabling those working throughout the night to travel to and from work safely and giving Londoners and visitors more ways to enjoy the capital’s world-leading hospitality and entertainment after dark.

“TfL also operates an extensive night bus network along with the Night Overground, to ensure everyone can travel around the capital throughout the night. More than one hundred routes currently run through the night and ridership on buses is regularly at 80 per cent.”

Responding to Ms Lamé’s point about the Government’s treatment of TfL, a spokeswoman at the Department for Transport said it is for the Mayor and TfL to ensure the organisation is able to sustain itself financially. She added that in August 2022, the Government agreed a longer-term funding settlement to provide TfL with just under £1.2 billion of grant funding until the end of March 2024 – or until TfL becomes financially sustainable, if sooner.

She said this was helping to enable almost £3.6 billion worth of critical infrastructure projects, matching the Mayor’s own pre-Covid capital spending plans, and taking Government funding to over £6 billion since the onset of the pandemic.

Noah Vickers - Local Democracy Reporter

Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More

This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.

Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.

We've always done that and won't be changing, in fact we'd like to do more.

However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.

We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.

A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact info@neighbournet.com and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.

One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.

If you do support us in this way we'd be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.

For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you'd like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.