Transport for London (TfL) has today (Wednesday 3 November) announced that Night Overground services will be returning next month in time for London’s festive celebrations. The all-night services, which link key areas in the city’s night-time economy such as Shoreditch, Hoxton and Upper Street in Islington, have been suspended since March 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic.

Night Overground services between Highbury & Islington and New Cross Gate will run every 15 minutes throughout the night on Fridays and Saturdays from Friday 17 December, making it faster, easier and safer for thousands of Londoners to get around.

Restoring this service means customers can once again easily access these diverse and buzzing areas of London, rich with restaurants, bars and nightspots, especially important as the night-time economy continues to recover following the pandemic. Reintroducing these 24-hour services at weekends will also help the 1.6 million people who work at night in London and will provide another safe transport option for all Londoners. TfL continues to run as many services as possible whilst seeking to secure the long-term, sustainable Government funding needed to continue supporting London’s recovery.

These services will complement the returning Night Tube, providing a convenient interchange with the Victoria line at Highbury & Islington. This, along with easy access to Night Tube on the Central line, via a walk between Shoreditch High Street and Liverpool Street stations, will open up large parts of London and the city centre for all-night rail travel.

As London has begun to emerge from the pandemic, off-peak leisure travel has been recovering more quickly than other types of journeys, indicating that there is strong demand for services that run later into the night at the weekend. Ridership on London Overground is around 71 per cent, with weekends reaching even higher. The Tube network on weekdays now regularly sees more than 60 per cent of journeys compared to before the pandemic, but this has reached as high as 80 per cent at weekends, while ridership on buses is regularly at 75 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. Overall TfL figures indicate that use of London’s public transport network is at around 70 per cent of pre-pandemic levels and that millions of Londoners are returning to the transport network, showing they have confidence that it is safe, clean and reliable.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I am delighted we have managed to ensure that the Night Overground will be returning next month, linking up diverse and vibrant areas of London with all the nightlife they have to offer, just in time for the festive period. Coming only a few weeks after the return of the Victoria and Central Night Tube lines, this is another important milestone as London’s vibrant night-time economy continues its recovery from the pandemic. I am determined to make the capital as safe as possible for all Londoners, especially women and girls, and the return of the Night Overground will make a huge difference to those who are travelling home late at night, offering another quick, easy and safe way for people to travel around the city.”

Night Czar for London, Amy Lamé, said: “Our incredible culture and hospitality businesses are gearing up for their busiest period of the year, so it really is great news that the Night Overground is on the way back. From our award-winning restaurants, bars and clubs to our magnificent grassroots live music venues, London’s night life is unrivalled all over the world. The return of the Night Overground is a great festive boost to our night time economy, not only for those who want to have a great night out, but for those who work in this vital sector too.”

Rory O’Neill, TfL’s General Manager of London Overground, said: “I’m pleased that the Night Overground will closely follow the return of the Night Tube and deliver a huge boost to the night-time economy and help our customers get around during the busy pre-Christmas period. An extra safe, green and affordable transport option for those working late or enjoying London at night will help ensure that London’s recovery is strong and sustainable.”

Sam Spencer, Head of Operations at Printworks London, said: “The return of the Night Overground service comes as welcome news to us at Printworks London. The safety of our guests and staff are of paramount importance to us, and the infrastructure of the night services in London enables our guests to plan and continue their journeys more safely. We look forward to seeing additional travel lines re-introduced in the not too distant future to further support the wider night-time industry.”

Michael Kill,  CEO of Night Time Industries Association, said: “The return of the Night Overground on Friday and Saturday nights between Highbury & Islington and New Cross Gate from 17 December is another welcome addition to London’s Night Time Economy infrastructure, and a step in the right direction. With a focus on vulnerability, and the safety of women at night, and thousands of night workers within London, we cannot underestimate the vital role these services play in keeping the capital safe at night.”

Customer safety and security remain TfL’s top priority, and London’s public transport offers a safe, low crime environment. In addition to more than 2,500 police and police community support officers, all stations along the route are staffed at all times while trains are running, with CCTV, modern lighting and help points available across the network to assist customers as required.

In addition to the returning Night Overground and Night Tube, TfL operates one of the most extensive night bus networks in the world, with more than 100 routes running to ensure everyone can travel around the capital whatever the hour. Well over a hundred routes currently run through the night, while licensed and regulated taxis and private hire vehicles provide door to door transport at all times of the day. The Tube continues to operate between approximately 05:30 and 00:30 through central London from Monday to Saturday, and TfL has started running some trains earlier on Sunday mornings to help customers travel at those times.

The Mayor’s Women’s Night Safety Charter also sets out guidance for venues, operators, charities, councils and businesses to improve safety at night for women – including better training of staff, encouraging the reporting of harassment and ensuring public spaces are safe. Over 600 organisations are now signed up, with more joining all the time.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.