TfL warns Londoners to expect six months of disruption as Night Tube strike goes ahead

·2-min read
The RMT union will walk out at 8.30pm on the Victoria and Central lines (PA) (PA Wire)
The RMT union will walk out at 8.30pm on the Victoria and Central lines (PA) (PA Wire)

TfL has warned passengers to prepare for six months of disruption on the Night Tube as another staff walk-out begins Friday.

RMT members will begin the longest strike in London Underground history from 8.30pm Friday evening until 8am Saturday, and from 8.30pm on any Saturday until 8am Sunday.

The action, which is set to occur every weekend until June, will affect the Victoria and Central lines.

The union has threatened potential action on other lines over new roster arrangements, which it says “would wreck the work-life balance of drivers”.

However, TfL has claimed that drivers would only be scheduled up to four night shift weekends per year and that it had guaranteed no job losses.

Andy Lord, Managing Director of London Underground, said: “We’re disappointed that, once again, the RMT is continuing to push for strike action that is likely to cause further unnecessary disruption.

“We’re calling on the RMT to join us for talks so we can work together to resolve this dispute around roster changes, which means no job losses and greater flexibility for drivers.”

The union’s general secretary, Mick Lynch, said drivers had been left with no choice but to strike.

“If London Underground and the Mayor thought this fight for progressive and family friendly working practices was going away they need to think again,” he said.

“It’s the failure of LU and Sadiq Khan to address the grievances at the heart of the dispute that leaves us no option but to confirm the programme of action goes ahead as planned.”

The Night Tube was reintroduced on the Central and Victoria lines in November but was hit with delays after strike action.

A shortage of staff because of Covid isolation also forced the closure of the Waterloo and City line just days before Christmas. It is set to re-open during peak weekday hours only from January 10.

TfL says it is continuing to work towards reintroducing night services on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines.

However, bosses claim the issue is complicated by a lack of resources on those lines, and the forthcoming closure of the Bank branch of the Northern line.

The branch will be closed between Kennington and Moorgate from January 15 until mid-May 2022 while upgrades are carried out at Bank station.

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