Businesses hail Night Tube extension

Businesses hail Night Tube extension

Businesses from Morden up to Edgware have heaped praised on the extended Night Tube service which is now operating on the Northern Line.

The Northern Line, which is the busiest of all London Underground lines, is the fourth to join the Night Tube network, following successful introductions on the Central, Victoria and Jubilee lines.

The service has provided a major boost to the capital’s burgeoning night-time economy with businesses from a range of sectors reaping the benefits from Camden’s iconic music venues to the West End’s world-class theatres.

It is estimated that the Night Tube will play a key role in opening up London's night-time economy, boosting it by £77m a year and supporting around 2,000 permanent jobs once it has been rolled out across all five lines.

David Lutton, policy director at London First, told BQ: “The Night Tube means London can finally call itself a 24-hour city and, with 50,000 journeys on its first night, it’s clear there’s huge demand for the service.

"London’s restaurants, bars, clubs and night life are among the best in world and help bring over 30 million visitors to the capital, but that’s only part of the story.

“Businesses across London, from accommodation to film and broadcasting, arts to technology, are working differently and no longer sticking to the traditional 9 ‘til 5.

"London’s 24-hour economy could be worth nearly £30bn each year and the Night Tube provides a boost to this, potentially adding £77m to London’s economy and creating 2,200 new jobs in the capital.

“So London has welcomed its new Night Tube but we have to keep thinking outside the limits of 9 ‘til 5 and ensure it’s not the final stop in the journey to support the city’s 24-hour businesses.”

Businesses in Camden and Euston in particular have already felt the effect of the new service. Simon Pitkeathley, chief executive of Camden Town Unlimited and Euston Town BID, added: “Camden Town has so much to offer: the creative quarter, innovative start-ups, an independent business community and iconic music venues.

"The Night Tube will help reflect Camden Town’s prominent position in London’s night-time economy. We can’t wait to see businesses across the board flourish from the improved transport.”

One of the key sectors to benefit, as you can imagine, is the leisure sector. Not only are staff at bars and nightclubs having their journey times slashed but revellers are also finding it easier to visit their favourite spots.

Mike Hamer, operations manager at Camden venue KOKO, said: “We are over the moon with the launch of the Night Tube.

"It is fantastic not only for our staff getting home at night, but also for dispersal of our customers after gigs and events, many of whom have had to leave before the end of a concert to ensure they can get home.”

Those who work in more traditional sectors such as business services, who often have to work around the clock, have also had their say.

Heinz Richardson, a board director at Jestico + Whiles Architects, added: “The addition of the Northern line to the Night Tube service has proven to be an enormous benefit to our business.

"As architects and designers, we often work late on submissions and the Night Tube is easing the journey home for 35% of our staff who use the tube.”

Heinz's comments were echoed by Paul Evans, area director for SME banking in London at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, who also highlighted the positive impact it's having on small businesses in particular.

Paul said: “A core part of the capital’s economy is the vibrant leisure industry, which is made up of many small businesses including bars, restaurants and cafes.

“Many of these small firms will be able to boost their revenue as people move more freely across the city.

“Our latest research reveals that 58% of firms think a lack of investment in infrastructure is holding the city back.

"As well as this, business leaders in London predict that improved infrastructure will increase their turnover by an average of six per cent.

“That’s why infrastructure projects are such a high priority for business leaders’ in London.

“Investing in transport links such as the night tube will ensure that London continues to compete as a major global city.”

There’s no doubt Khan’s Night Tube masterplan has so far been a huge success and the extension of the service to cover the Piccadilly line next month will no doubt see even more businesses benefit.

The Piccadilly expansion will fulfil the mayor’s pledge to have five lines running by the end of the year.


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