London Underground’s new Night Tube that has been long awaited is to be launched during August, close to a year later than originally planned.
The new mayor of London Sadiq Khan confirmed that the 24-hour trains would begin on the Victoria and Central lines on August 19, a Friday.
Night service on the Northern, Piccadilly and Jubilee lines will come next in two different phases in late fall, as new drivers complete training and the final preparations have been completed.
The all-night Tube had originally be schedule to begin on five different lines during the weekends in September of last year, but had numerous delays amidst a campaign of strike action by staff members.
Unions insisted that the Transport for London could have launched the Night Tube at an earlier date but it took over 18 months of negotiations prior to a deal on conditions and pay.
Over 200 drivers, who will be part-time, will take part in a training program of 14-weeks for the service. The service was originally announced by Boris Johnson the former London mayor in September of 2014.
Khan said that the Night Tube was vital to his plans of supporting and growing the nighttime economy in London, creating new jobs as well as opportunities for all those living in London.
Khan added that he made the Night Tube launch a priority and that the London Underground had confirmed that the service’s two lines would begin August 19.
The union continues to be in a dispute with those from London Underground regarding the conditions for the engineering workers that are linked with the new service.
Mick Cash a general secretary said that were major issues left unresolved relative to the engineering workforce of the Tube Lines and it was important that the company moves now to quickly address all points that are at the core of this dispute.
The union has major concerns as well over the safe operating of London’s Night Tube and unresolved issues remained on the safety that needs to be agreed to through the safety and health ministry.
The Night Tube said the Transport for London would lower trips by a 20-minute average and some by over an hour.
It has been estimated that it will boost the nighttime economy in London by more than £360 million.
Late might usage of the Tube continues to increase at double that of daytime usage and demand for travel on nighttime buses has increased by more than 170% since 2000.