Finally, after strikes, negotiations and general hoo-ha (yes, we read that like Al Pacino too), the long-awaited night tube is going to tentatively open its doors. But how the
Devil's Advocate is the whole thing going to operate? Step this way, and mind the gap... When does it start? This Friday, August 19th, is the appointed day (or night), with the service beginning with just two lines: the seventh circle of hell that is the Central Line (from Ealing Broadway in the west to Hainault and Loughton in the east) and the top to bottom speed merchants of the Victoria Line (Brixton to Walthamstow Central).
It will then also operate on Saturday night, followed by every Friday and Saturday night thereafter.
What about the other lines?
The full service will eventually - no date has yet been specified - operate on five lines: the
Central, Victoria, Piccadilly, Northern and Jubilee.
Northern line will operate on the Charing Cross branch only, but will serve both the High Barnet and Edgware branches in the north.
Piccadilly line will not run between Acton Town and Uxbridge, or to Heathrow Terminal 4.
If the first rollout proves successful, it may be extended to take in parts of the
Metropolitan, Circle, District, and Hammersmith & City lines.
Services could also operate on parts of the
London Overground in 2017 and the Docklands Light Railway by 2021. We'd probably get the front seat of the DLR and just ride it all night long. How often will they be running?
Central line will have services running around every 10 minutes between White City and Leytonstone and around every 20 minutes on the outer reaches (Ealing Broadway to White City and Leytonstone to Loughton/Hainault).
Victoria line will have trains running every 10 minutes. For the other lines opening soon: Jubilee - every 10 minutes Northern - every 8 minutes between Morden and Camden Town and every 15 minutes between Camden Town and High Barnet and Edgware Piccadilly - every 10 minutes How much will it cost? Standard off-peak fares apply, and day travel cards can be used until 4:29am. After that, and you'll be buying an extra ticket for the next day's tubes. Will it be safe?
Overall, probably. There'll be extra staff working whenever trains are running, while British Transport Police will be at stations this weekend;
they've stated that their aim is to make it as safe as it is during the day.
While a TfL risk assessment has warned of an increase in sexual offences and other crimes, Superintendent Chris Horton, of British Transport Police, has said, “The Tube is a very low crime environment. [In 2014/15] there were 6.8 crimes for every one million passenger journeys. We already police the network every weekend. We are not expecting to see a significant change.”
One concern is that inebriated passengers could fall on to the tracks or similar, although others have pointed out that that is already a risk factor during current tube operating times, as well as the same danger existing in roads when waiting for night buses and the like.
Will it affect London's nightlife?
Long-term, it could. Many venues will look to see how the service operates before changing anything, but there's every chance that clubs, bars and other locations near Night Tube-running stations will start regularly hosting more, and later events; others that currently close their doors at 5pm might be tempted to start looking at putting on after-hours events. However, with an already functioning night bus and cab services in the capital, most places will probably carry on as normal for the time being.
And about those buses...
From Friday 19 August the following bus routes will run 24 hours a day on Friday and Saturday: 34, 123, 145, 158, 296, E1, W3 and W7. These services will run twice an hour through the night, with W7 running three times an hour.
You can check all available night bus services
here. What song should I listen to while I'm on the night tube?
This one, on repeat.
(Images: Rex) Or this...
Treat yourself, have both.
VIDEO And some final advice from TfL...