London on the road to becoming a 24-hour economy with Night Tube launch
Unlike many other capitals around the world, London does not have a 24-hour underground system. But that's all set to change on August 19, when the Night Tube launches.
"A historic step in our modernisation of the Underground and our work to support London's economic growth," said Mke Brown, chief of TfL (Transport for London), the government body in charge of the transport system for Greater London.
It will start with the Victoria and Central lines, and the Piccadilly, Jubilee and Northern are set to follow in the autumn. The Night Tube will run on Fridays and Saturdays and will help shift workers and late night revellers get to and from outer London quickly and safely, London newspaper The Evening Standard reports.
TfL says passenger numbers on Friday and Saturday nights have gone up by around 70% since 2000. The new tube will "play a vital role in opening up London's night-time economy." It will support almost 2,000 permanent jobs and boost the economy by £360m.
Recently elected Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said the night tube is "'absolutely vital' to his plans for the capital's 24-hour economy," and has thus made it a priority. Previous mayor Boris Johnson had promised to have the new system in place by the end of his term in office but never delivered on that promise.
New West End Company managing director of operations Steven Medway told Retail Week that the Night Tube is likely to have huge benefits for retailers. He stated: “This service will have huge benefits for businesses as well as visitors. It further bolsters the West End’s reputation as a world-class destination, beyond retail, across the food, beverage and entertainment sectors."
“As a global retail and leisure destination, reliable transport links are vital for the West End to continue to compete with other international entertainment districts."
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