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Piccadilly Line to run 24 hours to Heathrow at weekends from September

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Transport for London confirmed the new ‘night tube’ operation yesterday with services starting on September 12th.

From that date, the underground will operate all night on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Full details can be found on the TfL website here and there is a new night tube map (click to enlarge):

Night Tube map

From a HfP perspective, the most important bit of news is that the Piccadilly line will be operating from Cockfosters to Heathrow.  There will be no service on the Terminal 4 loop but trains will run to terminals 2, 3 and 5 every 10 minutes throughout the night.

This opens up a few possibilities.  It makes it easier to book a very early British Airways departure on a Saturday morning, knowing that you can get to Heathrow without incurring a chunky minicab fee.  Late arrivals back into London on Friday and Saturday evenings also become a bit more attractive now that you are certain of getting home, even if your flight is a little delayed.

Comments (21)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • RIccati says:

    Yay, my off topic comment last night made it to HFP article!

  • Aeronaut says:

    A great development.

    Worth bearing in mind this Night Tube service doesn’t cover Sunday night! To be fair, the N9 night bus isn’t actually such a bad way of getting from Heathrow to central London (or v.v.) otherwise – though of course cash is no longer accepted as a method of payment on red London buses.

    • Charlie says:

      That night bus is probably the cheapest way to get to Heathrow!

      • JQ says:

        Wonder if they are going to reduce the N9 service once the night tube is up and running. Maybe they can run it to T4 instead of T5

    • Londonbus says:

      Cash is not accepted – but contactless payment cards are.

      The N0 is London’s longest bus route.

  • Ian says:

    Good news from London Underground. What has been the reaction from the Unions? They’ve called a strike. Oh well, some things in this country never change.

    • flyforfun says:

      So you wouldn’t strike if your bosses told you you had to work nights and weekends for no extra pay? Don’t forget these organisations don’t give their frontline staff “bonuses” to make up for lost personal time that white collar companies do.

      • JQ says:

        The same applies to the NHS

      • TimS says:

        I wouldn’t mind so much if the strike action was actually supported b a majority of employees but invariably it is only a small minority of the workforce who actually vote in favour of a strike.

        While night working may be a new thing, I doubt many Tube drivers were surprised by weekend working as I think the Tube has run on weekends pretty much since it first opened!

        As for “bonuses” for lost personal time, if it is part of the normal job, many “white collar” companies do the same as TFL and include it within the standard pay for the role.

        I don’t understand why people (in any role or industry) think they should get a bonus for doing their regular job.

        • TimS says:

          97% of the 81% who voted.

          In this instance it was a clear majority of the members of that one union but normally strike ballots do not get such majorities.

          As others have said, some people prefer night work and I expect it could be less stressful than some day shifts.

          I still don’t see why workers should expect a “bonus” for doing their job. If drivers doing irregular shift patterns is dangerous then there is a genuine argument for not doing it.

          All TFL really need to do is recruit more drivers specifically to cover night work. If people don’t want to do it they won’t get any takers and then they will need to pay current drivers more for additional work.

      • RIccati says:

        “you had to work nights and weekends for no extra pay?”

        This is a bogus argument, they work in shifts and some people would prefer working night shifts.

        I do not see why a night shift must be for an extra pay, definitely less stressful than a rush hour during the hot day. But most likely night shifts will be paid extra.

        Given that a lot of cashier windows have been replaced for machines — there are jobs for people to man stations instead of letting them go.

        • Alan says:

          But night shifts clearly aren’t the same as dayshifts – it is much more disruptive to sleep patterns and for those with caring responsibilities it may mean employing someone else to cover those whilst they’re doing nights – and you can bet they won’t be charged at the same rate as getting that same cover during the day! As others have said if it wasn’t part of their employment contract in the first place then I don’t think it is at all unreasonable to expect extra for working nights. On the other hand I think the salary they receive for the job they do is disproportionately high.

          • flyforfun says:

            I think a lot of salaries those in Financial Services is disproportionately high. There are so many execs and managers who milk companies for all they’re worth.

            For all those above who said they don’t see why working 11pm and 6am (for example of “night shift) is worth extra pay, please suggest to your bosses that you’d work those hours for nothing extra and not get a bonus. You probably won’t have to contend with bringing your train in to a platform full of drunk party revellers – and that’s the best of the bad bunch. I can foresee more fights occurring and smoking, drinking etc.. This won’t be like the 8am commute to Bank while reading the Metro!! I hope the station staff are also paid fairly for doing these unsocial hours.

          • TimS says:

            Where I work, the operations/maintrol guys get paid exactly the same whether they work the day shift or the night shift. The only extra pay is for working bank holidays (time and a half) or Christmas Day (double time).

            At the airlines I am familiar with pilots also receive the same daily rate whether they operate during the day, operate over night or spend it deadheading/positioning. The only slight difference is that some also pay an aditional hourly allowance for operating flights but that doesn’t differentiate between “day” hours or “night” hours.

            As for “milking” employers for all they are worth, some would say that the unions representing the Underground drivers already manage that quite successfully!

          • bob says:

            when I was a student I got triple pay for bank holidays!

            yes, please, more sir!

          • RIccati says:

            I do a global support job, evenings and weekends included. No extra pay. So what, I like the work that I do. What about UK-based call centre workers, do they get extra for night shifts? Doubt it.

            If you don’t like operating train at night — don’t do it. No one will be dragging those workers to trains and stations to work night shifts with guns to their heads.

            How about those construction workers who have to do tube repairs at night, paid something close to the minimum wage though the chain of hiring agencies, no doubt? Tube and bus drivers are in the privileged position because of the responsibility and operating risk to the public involved. That’s why they are in position to extract a higher pay.

            Further, I don’t see how the amount of drunks and incidents increases at 4 am on a line to Heathrow, as opposed to current 12:30 am on Northern line to Camden. If those party revellers are not turning over night busses, why they would suddenly rush to rattle trains in a well-lit underground that is full of CCTV?

          • RIccati says:

            To round up, the work at night in a such metropolis like London in and of itself does not warrant extra premium.

            TfL will be able to fill night positions with willing candidates long before they have to offer noticeable premium for night hours. This is labour economics of a big city, given that other externalities are not as bad: its easy to get to and from work, easy to get food at night (well, Tesco), sleep patterns already shifted, noise levels already higher, police already has to patrol crowded places.

  • bob says:

    Plenty of them are on £50K (and the rest) just for pressing a few buttons, don’t tell me it’s harder than driving a bus

    • Stephanie says:

      They should just convert those train to drive automatically.

      Funnily, trade unions are against this…what I don’t get is, if night shift is that bad (which I agree is not a desirable), surely automate the train is the solution. These unions have been milking passengers for way too long.

      • Rob says:

        Wierdly, some of the trains DO drive automatically – but still have drivers in the cab due to union rules.

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