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Night Tube strike ‘reflects badly on London’

London Underground workers are planning to stage a 24-hour strike, starting on Wednesday evening, over pay and conditions for the new night Tube service.

The members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT), Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA), and Unite are planning a walk out at 6.30pm, while ASLEF drivers will begin a strike from 9:30pm.

Responding to the action, David Leam, Director of Infrastructure Policy at London First, said:

“The public are strongly supportive of an efficient, 24-hour Tube service, despite continued resistance to modernisation by unions. This strike is unnecessary and reflects badly on London as a global capital where it is easy to do business. 

“Right now, the strike will cause harm to many businesses – from restaurants to retailers who will suffer from fewer customers. And while there are some workers who can work from home, we should not forget those people who are self-employed who face the injustice of not being paid if they can’t travel.”

London First has previously welcomed the announcement that London Underground would run a 24-hour ‘Night Tube’ service at weekends.

Independent research into the economic benefits of the Night Tube, commissioned by London First and Transport for London, found that the new service will boost jobs and help maintain London’s status as a vibrant and exciting place to live, work and visit.

The research found:

  • Around 1,965 permanent jobs will be supported by the Night Tube – 265 through direct operation of the service and 1,700 indirectly in the night-time economy.
  • The net additional output produced as a result equates to an additional £360m over 30 years.
  • Time savings will be on average 20 minutes, but up to an hour will be saved on some routes.
  • The standard business case shows that for each £1 spent on delivering the Night Tube, benefits will be £2.70.
  • Adding in wider economic impacts increases this benefit by £1.20 for every pound spent

There are also further ‘unquantifiable benefits’, including:

  • Reduced demand for illegal minicabs, thus improved safety in taxis at night.
  • Improved commuter journeys for many people who work during the night-time in central London but live further out.
  • Potential for longer operating hours for bars, clubs, restaurants, bowling alleys, cinemas, museums, art galleries and attractions.

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