Strike action is set to disrupt the reopening of Night Tube services on the Jubilee Line this weekend, a transport union has confirmed.
All-night services will return to the Jubilee Line from Saturday night, having been suspended in March 2020 because of the pandemic. But there may be as few as three trains per hour because of the strike.
The return of Night Tube services on the Victoria and Central lines last November sparked a row between TfL and the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union over a decision to integrate all-night drivers into the regular Tube workforce, instead of retaining their separate roles.
Night services on the Victoria and Central lines have been running at a reduced frequency since the RMT announced that its members would stage walkouts every weekend until next month in protest at the decision.
The RMT has now confirmed that the Night Tube industrial action will extend to the Jubilee Line. Mick Lynch, its general secretary, said: “Tube drivers are entitled to family-friendly work practices that allow a degree of work life balance and we had an agreement that ensured that, which TfL ripped up.
“RMT has repeatedly put forward cost-neutral proposals that would repair the damage unleashed by deleting 200 driver posts and which would dig [TfL] out of this mess. We will carry out our strike mandate until mayor Sadiq Khan sees sense.”
Tube drivers belonging to the union who are based at the North Greenwich, Stratford and Wembley Park depots have been instructed not to book on for shifts between 8.30pm on Saturday night and 4.30am on Sunday morning. Strikes will then affect services every Friday and Saturday night until June 19, in line with walkouts on the Victoria and Central lines.
TfL says it has been able to run a “good” level of service on the Victoria Line Night Tube despite the walkouts, while at least two trains per hour are expected through the night on the Central Line.
Nick Dent, director of customer operations at London Underground, said TfL expects to run a “regular” Night Tube service on the Jubilee Line “as planned” despite strike action.
Mr Dent said: “We’re disappointed that the RMT is continuing to push for strike action. Despite this, we still expect to run a regular Night Tube service on the Jubilee line as planned, with at least three trains an hour, to support London’s night-time economy and help the capital bounce back after the pandemic. We urge the RMT to call off their disruptive strike action and work with us to resolve their dispute.”
Seb Dance, London’s deputy mayor for transport, said the return of Night Tube services on the Jubilee Line is “another important moment in London’s recovery from the pandemic”.
He said: “Combined with the return of the Piccadilly and Northern line later this summer, this will make a huge difference to Londoners travelling around our city at night, offering them an additional safe and reliable route – in perfect time for a jam-packed summer of fantastic events in the capital.”
TfL says that ridership on the Tube network is now up to 80 per cent of pre-pandemic levels at weekends, while ridership on buses is regularly at 75 per cent.
Additional reporting by Darryl Chamberlain
Joe Talora is the Local Democracy Reporter for the Greater London Authority, based at the Evening Standard. The Local Democracy Reporter Service is a BBC-funded initiative to ensure councils are covered properly in local media.
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