Transport for London
Plan ahead as RMT strike action threatens Night Tube services
The RMT is proposing to take six further nights of action on the Central and Victoria lines over changes to rosters.
- Roster changes, agreed with the other recognised union in May 2021, have boosted Tube resilience, provided drivers with increased flexibility and TfL has guaranteed no job losses
- Talks between TfL and RMT are ongoing to try and avoid this industrial action
- Customers should check before they travel and consider using buses. Further information is available at tfl.gov.uk/tube-strike and on the TfL Go app
Tube customers are advised that the RMT's planned strike action could cause severe disruption on Central and Victoria line Night Tube services this weekend. The planned action will disrupt Night Tube services throughout December, with a 24-hour strike also planned for Saturday 18 December on five lines (Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria).
Transport for London (TfL) is warning customers that both the Victoria and Central lines could be severely disrupted from 19:00 onwards on Friday 3 and Saturday 4 December, with the potential of little or no service from this time overnight on 3-5 December, 10-12 December and 17-19 December. Customers are advised to check before they travel and use buses to complete their journeys where required.
This weekend's planned strike action is part of a further four nights and one full day of disruption ahead of Christmas, which will impact Londoners and the city's recovery at a crucial time. The RMT has taken this action over new rosters, which have been agreed by the other recognised union and were introduced for Tube drivers in August. This strike action has been called despite the new rosters including assurances that there will be no job cuts, providing certainty and the option of permanent work for those on part-time contracts and only scheduling four night shift weekends per year - shifts which can be swapped with colleagues for duties at other times of day if that works better for them. Talks between TfL and RMT are ongoing as TfL seeks to try and avoid this unnecessary action.
Night Tube services were reintroduced on the Central and Victoria line on the evening of Saturday 27 November. Despite RMT strike action, TfL was able to deliver a service throughout the night. A near-normal overnight service ran on the Victoria line, with a train every 10 minutes, and a consistent service ran through the city on the Central line. However, the impact of the strike action depends on the number of drivers booking on each weekend, so customers are advised to check before they travel on Night Tube services for the most up to date information.
Nick Dent, London Underground's Director of Customer Operations, yesterday said:
“We're urging Night Tube customers to check before they travel this weekend ahead of more disruptive RMT strike action on the Central and Victoria lines. While I'm pleased we managed to run a safe and regular service on the Night Tube last weekend despite strike action, there is still a chance of severe disruption this weekend and up to Christmas. We've been in talks with the RMT for months to try and avoid this needless strike action. I apologise to customers for the disruption they may face and urge the RMT to continue talks with us, rather than threatening London with further strikes at a crucial time for its recovery.”
TfL had previously announced that the Night Tube will be returning in time for the busy Christmas period after being suspended since March 2020 due to the pandemic, providing more options for customers who need to travel at night either for leisure or for work, while also making journey times shorter and offering additional safe routes home.
Staff will be available to offer assistance to customers, with plain clothes and uniformed British Transport officers also on hand to ensure staff and customer safety. Further information will be available ahead of, and during, the strikes at tfl.gov.uk/tube-strike as well as on the TfL Go app, TfL website and Journey Planner.
TfL announced recently that night services on London Overground will be restored on Friday and Saturday nights between Highbury & Islington and New Cross Gate from 17 December 2021. No strike action is planned to disrupt Night Overground's return.
Night Tube services on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines will return to service as soon as possible. TfL is working hard to resolve resourcing issues on these lines and there are other considerations such as the upcoming closure of the Bank branch of the Northern line to allow completion of the upgrade at Bank Tube station.
In line with new Government regulations on the wearing of face coverings on public transport from Tuesday 30 November, all customers travelling on the TfL transport network must wear face coverings for the duration of their journeys or risk being fined, unless they are exempt. TfL's 500 uniformed enforcement officers and the police will be out across the transport network ensuring that customers comply with the Government regulation. Anybody who does not comply may be refused entry, directed to leave the network or face a fine.
Notes to Editors
The RMT's planned strike action is as follows:
- 20:30 3 December – 04:29 4 December (Central & Victoria)
- 20:30 4 December – 04:29 5 December (Central & Victoria)
- 20:30 10 December – 04:29 11 December (Central & Victoria)
- 20:30 11 December – 04:29 12 December (Central & Victoria)
- 20:30 17 December – 04:29 18 December (Central & Victoria)
- 04:30 18 December – 04:29 19 December (Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly & Victoria)
- Night Tube drivers were offered the opportunity to join the full-time driver pool on a permanent basis, with Night Tube duties spread across all drivers. A number of drivers have been able to stay part-time at their own request, with some of them moving to part-time positions during the day service to help balance their work and personal lives. No Tube driver has or will lose their job as a result of these changes, nor has any driver been forced to switch to part- or full-time work if they do not want to
- The Central and Victoria lines were previously two of the busiest lines on the Night Tube network and provide crucial links between large parts of London and the centre of the city. Restoring night running on these lines will help businesses like bars, clubs and restaurants as London's night-time economy continues to recover following the pandemic. It will also provide a safe, quick travel option for Londoners and visitors looking to make the most of all the capital has to offer in the evenings, and those who need to travel to or from work at night
- The safety of TfL's staff and customers is top priority and TfL works closely with the British Transport Police to ensure this is prioritised. TfL has also invested in additional British Transport Police officers who are dedicated to policing Night Tube. These officers will provide a high visibility police presence and keep customers and staff safe, as they did previously on Night Tube before it was paused as part of the pandemic
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