Thousands of people have signed a petition urging London’s transport body Transport for London (TfL) to reopen the night Tube this winter to help keep women and girls safe.
Ella Watson, who launched the petition, is calling for the service to resume after it was shut in response to the outbreak of coronavirus in the city last year.
Ms Watson said the decision to pause the 24-hour service on the London Underground means women will be forced to get taxis home at night instead, adding that the outcry following the murders of Sabina Nessa and Sarah Everard has reinforced how unsafe women and girls feel walking home at night.
Her petition, launched on Change.org has reached more than 75,000 signatures so far.
— Ella Watson (@ellagracewatson) September 30, 2021
It needs to reach 100,000 before it is debated in Parliament by MPs.
Writing on the page, Ms Watson said: “In the UK and London women and girls are unsafe on the streets, especially at night. The rightful outcry at the recent murders of Sabina Nessa and Sarah Everard on London’s streets, epitomises the fear women face of walking alone or standing on the streets in the evening and at night.
“The decision taken by TfL to keep the night tube closed over the winter of 2021/2022 will have a disproportionate impact on women and low-income groups, with women forced to take expensive taxis home during the busy festive season as a result of being unsafe in public.
“Yet taxis themselves pose a risk to women, with 235 allegations of rape or sexual assault against London taxi / private hire drivers over a 12 month period during 2019.”
She added: “Physical changes to the environment such as street lights and safer transport should not be seen as a solution, serving as a Band Aid to the problem of violence against women, yet arguably they can help make a significant difference, especially during the winter months.”
Transport for London has been contacted for comment.
The night Tube was first launched in August 2016 under London mayor Sadiq Khan.
It saw selected lines on TfL’s network run a 24-hour service on Fridays and Saturdays.
Watch: London Underground launches Night Tube service back in 2017