Return of the Night Tube

As fears for women's safety whilst travelling at night grow, Transport for London have responded by implementing changes. Should the same be done for Newcastle's transport system?

Maud Webster
26th October 2021
Photo by Joël de Vriend on Unsplash
Following a successful Change.org petition, which demanded the return of the night tube for Winter 2021/22 in order to improve women’s safety travelling within London, Transport for London have announced the night tube will be reintroduced on the Victoria and Central lines, on Friday and Saturday nights. This service will begin on the 27th November. 

The petition argued that a night tube will provide more, safer ways for women to travel back after working at night, or nights out, a very pertinent issue especially in light of the recent murders of Sabina Nessa and Sarah Everard. 

The night tube hasn’t been in service since the start of the pandemic, back in March 2020. As London has experienced a return to ‘normal’ nightlife over the past few months, campaigners thought it was right to accompany this change with sufficient public transport options for people returning home late at night.

Though it is excellent that the night tube has returned (even on a minimal route - hopefully this paves the way for more routes to open with demand) - it’s also important to acknowledge that measures also need to be taken to improve safety within public transport itself. Ella Watson, who created the petition, stated:

Whilst it is important to recognize the tube itself, much like other public transport, is not perfect and more needs to be done to protect women when using it,  the running of a well-lit and well-connected tube network, with platform cctv and appropriately trained security staff serves as the best transport option to ensure millions of women across London can get home safely in the evenings and at night this coming winter. The reopening of the night economy after lockdown without this infrastructure is a disservice to women's safety.

The return of the night tube for London also causes other cities to consider the provision they themselves offer their citizens in terms of methods of travel late at night. For example, should Newcastle offer a night Metro?

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AUTHOR: Maud Webster
she/they | third year architecture & urban planning student @ newcastle | co-head of culture for the 21/22 academic year

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