Night Tube service to begin on August 19th

The night tube will start on 19th August, almost a year later than expected Photo: PA

London’s long-delayed 24 hour ‘Night Tube’ will finally start in August - almost a year late, thanks to a bitter dispute with the rail unions.

The first all-night trains will run on the Central and Victoria Lines on Friday August 19th but Piccadilly, Jubilee and Northern Line services will be delayed until the Autumn.

The Central and Victoria Lines will be the first services to run 24 hours Credit: PA

The long-running row over pay and rosters torpedoed Boris Johnson’s planned September 2015 launch coinciding with the Rugby World Cup.

The outgoing Tory mayor hoped to announce a revised start date before he left office earlier this month but new Labour mayor Sadiq Khan was abled to claim the trophy.

The constant delays under the previous mayor let Londoners down badly. I have made getting the Night Tube up and running a priority and London Underground has now confirmed the services on the first two lines will launch on 19 August.

Credit: PA

City Hall claims 24-hour services on Fridays and Saturdays will give London’s economy a £360m shot in the arm.

London Underground was forced to hire 200 part-time drivers after the unions rejected bonus payments for existing staff.

Delays in training the new drivers are thought to be behind the ‘staggered’ launch of the new service.

The biggest rail Union, the RMT, attempted to pour cold water on Mr Khan's announcement claiming there were significant 'unresolved issues'.

There are major unresolved issues in relation to the Tube Lines engineering workforce and it is imperative that the company now moves quickly to address the points at the core of that dispute and reaches a proper negotiated settlement with the union that doesn't leave that essential group of workers disadvantaged on conditions and pensions.

RMT also still has major concerns over the safe running of the Night Tube and there are unresolved issues on the detailed safety case that will have to be agreed through the Health and Safety machinery. Against a background of massive cuts over shadowing TFL budgets all parties have to be clear that Night Tube, a development that RMT supports, cannot be delivered on the cheap.