Boost for West End businesses

Boost for West End businesses

London's West End has been given a shot in the arm by the introduction of the Night Tube, with footfall rising 21% in the capital's shopping district on Saturday night.

More than 100,000 passengers took advantage of the new overnight Underground service, with about  6,500 people tapping in at Oxford Circus, one of London's busiest stations, on Saturday night alone.

Representatives for London's West End are hopeful that late-night foot traffic will provide a boost for business.

"The service looks set to contribute to a vibrant 24-hour economy for London's West End," said Steven Medway, managing director of trading environment for the New West End Company - the organisation representing businesses at some of London's biggest retail destinations including Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street.

"The newly extended operating hours will allow more people to experience and enjoy the diversity of the West End beyond its world-class retail offering, from entertainment and leisure to food and beverage," he added.

The Victoria and Central lines are the first to provide overnight services on Fridays and Saturdays, but there are plans to  extend the night network to the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines this autumn.

The Night Tube is also expected to spark job creation, adding 2,200 new roles in services, 500 of which will be directly employed in operating transport lines, according to a report released by consultancy group EY and business advocacy group London First.

It is forecast to add £77m to London's economy each year by 2029, the report added.

"At a time of economic uncertainty - particularly following the Brexit vote - this is  a welcome boost to London's economy, but it should be seen in the context of the £40bn economic benefits already delivered by the general move we have seen  to a 24-hour economy in London," London First's report explained.  

To read more about what local businesses have said about the service, click here.


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