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Women are calling on TfL to bring back the night tube

‘People can’t go out and enjoy London like they used to because it doesn’t feel safe’

Chiara Wilkinson
Written by
Chiara Wilkinson

Even though clubs are back and London nightlife feels *almost* normal, something is different. The night tube is still not running, and there’s no date set for it to return.

This is a real problem. The night tube isn’t just about convenience, it’s about safety – especially if you’re not a man, and especially when the news feels like a never-ending cycle of stories about violence against women. 

Last week, Mared Parry launched a petition on the government's website calling on TfL to restart the night tube and late-hour London Overground services by November 2021, after a tweet got more than 12,000 likes. 

The petition read: ‘The tragic and absolutely heartbreaking deaths of Londoners Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa are only two of the many that take place every year in London. It sickens me that multiple innocent women have to be murdered in order for people to listen when we tell them London is dangerous for women. If nothing is being done to help keep us safe and there's nothing sorting out actual transportation methods for women, then there’s an urgent need for the night tube right now.’

The petition was rejected by the government’s website and Parry re-launched it on

Meanwhile, Ella Watson launched another petition on, calling on the Mayor of London to reinstate night tube for winter 2021/2022, to improve women's safety. The petition has already amassed more than 70,000 signatures. 

With it being almost impossible to get an Uber at the moment (especially one that doesn't cost a small fortune), pretty much the only remaining option to get home after dark is the night bus – which is often unreliable and not always suitable for long distances. 

‘Women are really having to adapt their whole lives around this,’ said Parry to Time Out. ‘People can’t go out and enjoy London like they used to because it doesn’t feel safe. But it’s not considered a crisis because it only affects women.’

The night tube is also an essential transport network for London’s late-night workers. ‘What about people who work for the NHS or who work at bars until the late hours?’ Parry said. ‘You can’t get taxis home every single time because that’s expensive – that’s your whole shift gone.’

Earlier this year, another Londoner, Lindsay Baxter, made a petition calling on TfL to provide free transport for women on low incomes to get home after dark. 

The night tube was first introduced to London in 2016 and was gradually expanded until the pandemic. As we reported earlier this year, TfL boss Andy Byford has said the night tube won’t return until 2022 because ‘frankly there isn’t the demand for it’. 

Time Out asked the Mayor of London and London Assembly about reopening the night tube to help Londoners feel safe at night. A spokesperson for the Mayor said: ‘Sadiq is committed to taking action to improve safety for women in the capital and has been clear he wants to open the night tube as quickly as possible. He has urged TfL to look into the feasibility of getting one or two lines reopened this year, which we hope will be possible. TfL continue to run as close to a full service as possible across all their services and the tube continues to serve central London with last trains leaving around 1am and starting again at 5.30am. There is also an extensive night bus network that continues to operate across the city every night.’

Andy Lord, Managing Director of London Underground at TfL said:

'All women and girls must feel safe and be safe when travelling around London at all times. Ensuring women and girls can travel safely on London’s public transport networks is an absolute priority for us. We are running as close to a full service as possible across all our services and the Tube continues to serve central London with last trains leaving around 01:00 and starting again at 05:30

'We want to reopen the Night Tube as quickly as possible but the pandemic limited our ability to train drivers and we have had to deploy available drivers to maintain a reliable service during the daytime across the week. We are continuing to review how we might be able to reintroduce the full Friday and Saturday Night Tube in a safe and viable way as soon as possible. We are exploring the feasibility of reintroducing some services on one or two lines more quickly. Our extensive night bus network continues to operate, and our licensed and regulated taxis and private hire vehicles provide door to door transport around the clock.'

London’s tube union might go on strike.

A scheme to improve nightlife safety is extending across London.

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