Since March 2020, the night tube had ceased to run in London. But on November 27, it made a – rather shaky, albeit – return, with service running on the Central and Victoria lines.
This was heavily disrupted by strike action — first through a five-line, all-day strike on November 26; followed by plans for disruption to all forthcoming night tube services until Christmas.
And this weekend – starting from 4.30am on Saturday (December 18) – another five-line, 24-hour strike is due to go ahead, impacting the final weekend to get Christmas shopping in before the 25th. This will follow the general strike action on Friday’s night tube. Central and Victoria lines will be hit by delays from around 7pm on Friday night (December 17), and the following day the same five lines (Central, Victoria, Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly) will be severely reduced.
TFL has warned travellers to check routes before heading out over the weekend, and fear that serious disruption could hit the network over the hectic weekend of shopping.
Last week, RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “The action goes ahead for the simple reason that LU [London Underground] rejected an offer from RMT on Tuesday that they know was a solution, that they admit is cost-neutral to run, and they are now prolonging a dispute that will cost them more than settling because their managers have made a series of errors and don’t want to admit it publicly.
“Londoners are paying the price for the mistakes of LU management. London has enough problems without the botched handling by Tube chiefs of this dispute.”
Also speaking on this strikes last weekend, Nick Dent, LU’s director of customer operations, said: “I apologise to customers who may experience another weekend of disruption because of RMT action on the Central and Victoria lines.
“We know this is the last thing London needs at the moment as it tries to recover from the pandemic. We’ve been speaking to the RMT for some months about this dispute, and have guaranteed there will be no job losses and anyone who wants to stay part-time has been able to.
“Tube drivers will be rostered to work up to four night shift weekends every year, which they’ll be able to swap with colleagues as they wish, which we think is reasonable.”
After months of talks, it seems a resolution on the night tube shifts still hasn’t been reached, and strike action will be going ahead as planned.
Check the TFL website before travelling this weekend.
Updates on any outcome from talks between TFL and RMT will follow.