The all-night weekend service planned for a handful of underground lines later this year will now extend to more of London’s railway network, the Evening Standard reports.
London Mayor Boris Johnson and Chancellor George Osborne announced the news this morning and say that the additions will add billions more to the economy.
In September this year, five Tube lines — the Piccadilly, Victoria, Central, Jubilee, and Northern — will get 24-hour service on Fridays and Saturdays, saving residents and tourists from the perils of the capital’s dreaded night buses.
The night-time service will be added to the Overground by 2017. By 2021, it will also extend to the Docklands Light Railway, Metropolitan, Circle, District, and Hammersmith & City lines will also run in the early hours. Right now, the Underground closes at 12.30 a.m.
The government says the plans will create half a million jobs and add £6.4 billion to London’s economy. Johnson and Osborne unveiled the plans at Victoria Station today, the Standard notes, where the mayor noted that investing in infrastructure and travel is important for the capital to remain competitive as its population increases.
“Today we have committed to additional night Tube services, the first 24-hour London Overground and the purchase of hundreds of brand new buses,” Johnson said. He also mentioned the massive Crossrail 2 project, and the extension of the Bakerloo line.
The Standard adds that rail unions have questioned the news. The leader of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union complained that the government didn’t consult the organisation on the additional services. He called it a “pre-election stunt” and wonders where the £6.4 billion figure came from. He also thinks there will be a problem with drinking on the night-time Tube trains.