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Will the Night Tube Save London’s Night Time Economy?

  • night tube

After more than a year of delays and industry action, you could forgive Londoners for being sceptical about the August 2016 start-date for the Night Tube. But with TFL adamant the scheme will launch next month, surely nothing should derail the Night Tube now?

It’s time then to look at how, from restaurants to nightclubs, the Night Tube might be a huge boost for London’s night time economy.

The starting line

London might be a 24-hour city, but if you’re out past midnight at the weekend – whether you’re a bar worker or making your way home from an evening on the tiles – your choices of transportation are pretty much restricted to an expensive taxi or a slow, infrequent night bus.

Shortly after winning the London Mayoral Election, Sadiq Khan confirmed that 24-hour trains will begin on the Central and Victoria lines on Friday, August 19.

Night services on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines will follow in two separate phases later in the autumn, as new Tube drivers complete their training and final preparations are made.

According to Mr Khan “The Night Tube is absolutely vital to my plans to support and grow London’s night time economy”. So how will the Night Tube actually impact the London night time economy?

A positive impact?

In the main, the hospitality sector looks set to be positively impacted by the Night Tube. TFL’s impact assessment suggests quantifiable benefits of around 2,000 new jobs and a net benefit of £360m to the economy. Some of the less quantifiable benefits are, according to TFL, “potential for longer operating hours for bars, clubs and restaurants”.

TFL have claimed that demand for night-time travel is on the rise. “Late Night Tube usage is increasing at double the rate of daytime trips and demand for travel on night buses has risen by over 170 per cent since 2000.”

Saving hospitality jobs

It is claimed that the total level of Friday and Saturday night time employment has been estimated as 22,580 jobs.

A high number of these people are sure to be bar, restaurant and pub workers who will regularly have to use slow or expensive (or both) modes of transport to commute home.

Thousands of these workers will now have a safer, less expensive and quicker journey home.

With the number of people staying out later at the weekend, more money will be invested into the hospitality industry, enabling more employment opportunities in the future, expanding the night time hospitality economy. In fact, TFL’s own report claims that as many as 1,965 jobs could be directly and indirectly impacted by the opening of the Night Tube, although this could also be an underestimate.

Making Britain better

According to Alan D Miller, founder of the Old Truman Brewery in London’s East End, the night time hospitality sector has a lot to be proud of.

“Lighting up our streets, employing 8pc of our workforce – a large proportion of whom are young – paying business rates and as active stakeholders in our local communities, our industry simply makes Britain better.”

Ultimately, it looks like the Night Tube will positively impact the hospitality sector in terms of increased sale opportunities, boosting employment and by providing customers with more night commute options.

If you would like to speak with one of our London hospitality property experts about acquiring a leisure property that will take advantage of this new and exciting development, get in touch on 020 7935 2222 or email sales@restaurant-property.co.uk.

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