Night Tube

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Its all well and good saying its dead and what not but what do you do with the staff you have spent money and time and effort on to get trained to run? Just sack them?
 

ScotGG

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People saying night buses are fine - might well be where you live but not for many. They are painfully slow even at night and crap for many night workers. And for me, enough to stop me going out in many parts of London as getting home was just too long. Now that's changed.
 

bluegoblin7

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The centre might be slightly different (particularly the 'hub' stations of Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road, Holborn etc.) but Night Tube *is* being really lightly used, as many predicted. There's a good flurry until around an hour after traditional last train times (c0100-0130), then it drops off until another flurry around 0300-0330 when clubs start to kick out. Then a few more trickles until traditional start up times. Notably, all of these peak loadings are 'out' - the return inbound workings are basically empty.

It deserves time to pick up, but people aren't going to change their travel habits for two nights a week. The 'part time workers' nonsense was exactly that, and the raison d'être for Night Tube will always be revellers.

And don't be fooled by the '24 hour city' guff either - most places are closed by 0300, and those that are still open won't let you in...
 

bramling

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And don't be fooled by the '24 hour city' guff either - most places are closed by 0300, and those that are still open won't let you in...

24-hour city is a nonsense. Find me a branch of my bank that's open at 0400, or various retail establishments that I might wish to visit were we a true 24-hour city. It's a nonsense, and the Night Tube loadings bear this out.

It's simply not economic to be running empty trains around all night, especially in times where the financial belt is supposed to be being tightened. LU has enough trouble staffing stations during their core hours at the moment, which surely must be the priority simply on the numbers of people affected being several orders of magnitude more.
 

hassaanhc

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My journeys on the Night Tube were all lightly loaded.

Jubilee Line from Westminster to Canning Town at the beginning of December around 0330 was the quietest I've ever seen the Jubilee Line! I had narrowly missed the previous train, and apart from the other 3 people that also did so (I wasn't with them!), no one else turned up on the platform. My overall journey was to near Gallions Reach Station on the DLR, and being able to have the option of the 474 from Canning Town allowed me to save around 10-15 minutes over the N551 either direct from Trafalgar Square or from Canning Town (although the 0305 departed around 10-15 minutes late as well). Suppose it helps the night 474 have some passengers on it :lol:.

On the first night of the Piccadilly Line service I travelled from Piccadilly Circus to Acton Town around 0430. There was a decent loading within Z1, but as soon as we got out of there, most of the few people left appeared to be going to Heathrow. The return leg at around 0510 to Green Park was slightly busier.

As for getting back from nights out, using Uber seems to be the option of choice among the people that I know. Being able to have a much faster direct door-to-door journey in a warm car is way better than waiting at a cold bus stop for a long time, plus having to walk to/from the bus stop at both ends. And if the price is split between 3-4 people it can work out quite cheap.
 

mrmartin

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Finding this push back on the night tube weird. I've only used the central line but it's been really busy every time I've used it. It is so much better than a night bus or even an Uber - congestion late at night (+surge pricing) in some areas can be terrible.

Secondly, it needs more time to bed in especially after the delayed and confusing launch which confuses people to what was running etc. The pic line has only been running for a month!

Thirdly, it's meant to be self funding through additional fare revenue. Not sure if that is still the case? Be very interested to know what the projected passenger figures were and how ridership is shaping up.

Finally I really don't see how people think night buses are a good alternative. They're not. They're incredibly slow and very badly overcrowded at the 1am, 3am etc marks. This combined with intoxicated people ends up in fights starting and all kinds of silliness, which seems way better on night tube - simply because people aren't crammed in (yet) or being left behind at bus stops. It's obviously a way better solution.
 

bramling

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Finding this push back on the night tube weird. I've only used the central line but it's been really busy every time I've used it. It is so much better than a night bus or even an Uber - congestion late at night (+surge pricing) in some areas can be terrible.

Secondly, it needs more time to bed in especially after the delayed and confusing launch which confuses people to what was running etc. The pic line has only been running for a month!

Thirdly, it's meant to be self funding through additional fare revenue. Not sure if that is still the case? Be very interested to know what the projected passenger figures were and how ridership is shaping up.

Finally I really don't see how people think night buses are a good alternative. They're not. They're incredibly slow and very badly overcrowded at the 1am, 3am etc marks. This combined with intoxicated people ends up in fights starting and all kinds of silliness, which seems way better on night tube - simply because people aren't crammed in (yet) or being left behind at bus stops. It's obviously a way better solution.

I forgot to add that it's becoming noticeable that trains on the Night Tube lines are starting to smell of urine. Not pleasant to sit down first thing on Sunday morning to find the seat wet and then realise you've sat where someone has recently relieved themselves, or find your trousers covered in white powder which indicates something disgusting has happened on your seat. Naturally with the trains running around largely empty, there's little to stop people urinating over seats -- they're hardly going to get off knowing there probably won't be toilets on the station and they'll have to wait 10 or 15 minutes til the next train.

A world-class city? I think not. What a disgusting welcome to any visitor who arrives off a plane at Heathrow.
 
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RJ

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Would be easier for them to just be on a flaming night bus in the first place. I can't help but form the impression the Night Tube is a bit of a flop. My impression, certainly on the Northern and Vic lines is of pretty empty trains running about most of the night - and looking at the loading figures on Trackernet backs this up. For example on the Victoria Line the last two nights I've not seen any train over 20% loaded, with most under 10% loaded right down to 1%.

Really not a good use of taxpaper's money, and I think it's a disgrace that we are currently seeing stations closed during normal traffic hours due to non-availability of staff, yet we have resources wasted on Night Tube serving comparatively a handful of people, all of whom have access to good quality alternatives in the form of night buses.

Didn't realise there was a loading data feature on Trackernet. Just had a look myself, pretty neat.

I'm a champion of the night bus network and spent a fair amount of time working on schemes to enhance a few night routes on the network. When I was younger, I rode most of the N-prefixed route to their outer extremities, but that was back when they used to cane it along due to less strict performance monitoring. I've driven a few night routes including the N3 and the erstwhile N35, both of which are likely to see less crowding as a result of overnight Tube services.

Since moving on from the sanctity of student life, I've changed from a night busser to a last tube type. The tube is warm, rapid and reliable opening up a much broader catchment area of places to go at night. I'm quite happy to revel in North London on weekends knowing I can be down south in less than 20 minutes. The time the bus would take makes it a far less attractive prospect. It has also opened up job opportunities - now I can do late rail replacement duties on Saturday at a greater range of garages, including one just north of London which is a short lift away from High Barnet.

Night buses are good and the network is comprehensive in Zones 1-3, but the fact is speeds, frequencies and indirect routes mean that many people who would use the tube won't use them. Give Night Tube time to bed in before writing it off as a waste!
 
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jon0844

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Keeping the rolling stock clean is an obviously concern, but otherwise I can't see why there's negativity over the night tube either. It will take time for usage to increase. Before Christmas, I totally forgot the tubes were running all through the night until I saw a poster later on. (And talking of Christmas, I think if we ever had Christmas Day running of public transport, that too would take a few years to prove itself).

Bars and clubs closing at 3am means people leaving work between 3 and 4, while others are coming in to work around the same sort of time.

Heck, if they were just running for workers then it would be worth it IMO! It's only two days a week anyway. The night buses, or taxis, are still going to be needed by people the rest of the week.
 

bluegoblin7

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Heck, if they were just running for workers then it would be worth it IMO! It's only two days a week anyway. The night buses, or taxis, are still going to be needed by people the rest of the week.

But that's half the point - workers aren't and won't us[ing|e] it. Many shift workers starting that early can't afford the Tube against the Night Bus (particularly with the introduction of the Hopper fare), whilst only operating two nights a week isn't worth anyone changing their travel (or, more importantly, sleep/life balance) patterns for.

Thirdly, it's meant to be self funding through additional fare revenue. Not sure if that is still the case? Be very interested to know what the projected passenger figures were and how ridership is shaping up.

It is meant to be the case, but wasn't projected for many *years*. Judging by the emptiness of the trains and high levels of fare evasion (and the huge number of times that gates are being left open on staff safety grounds) I'd be very surprised if those forecasts haven't changed.

Using Night Tube once or twice at any time of night is not indicative of its success. Yes, it needs more time to settle down, but people are deluding themselves if they think it's proving itself already. Take it from those on this thread who regularly work Night Tube (and speak to others who regularly work Night Tube across the Combine), because *that* is representative. Numbers aren't increasing - if anything they're reducing after the hype, with many people opting for the slower routes to avoid changes. Humans are inherently lazy.
 

Busaholic

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Didn't realise there was a loading data feature on Trackernet. Just had a look myself, pretty neat.

I'm a champion of the night bus network and spent a fair amount of time working on schemes to enhance a few night routes on the network. When I was younger, I rode most of the N-prefixed route to their outer extremities, but that was back when they used to cane it along due to less strict performance monitoring. I've driven a few night routes including the N3 and the erstwhile N35, both of which are likely to see less crowding as a result of overnight Tube services.

Since moving on from the sanctity of student life, I've changed from a night busser to a last tube type. The tube is warm, rapid and reliable opening up a much broader catchment area of places to go at night. I'm quite happy to revel in North London on weekends knowing I can be down south in less than 20 minutes. The time the bus would take makes it a far less attractive prospect. It has also opened up job opportunities - now I can do late rail replacement duties on Saturday at a greater range of garages, including one just north of London which is a short lift away from High Barnet.

Night buses are good and the network is comprehensive in Zones 1-3, but the fact is speeds, frequencies and indirect routes mean that many people who would use the tube won't use them. Give Night Tube time to bed in before writing it off as a waste!

Were you a Camberwell man? When staying at my sister's on Croxted Road I used to hear the N3 going along, and that was definitely a road where they caned it. Not unknown to get three buses one behind the other, either. Tough if you wanted a Bromley one and it sailed past the stop while a Crystal Palace one stopped! Mind you, I was very grateful when a drunk driver totalled my parked car there and driver Wallace stopped his night bus and offered to be a witness (I remember his surname because mine's the same)
 

Chris125

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Like most new railway services it's success will take years to accurately judge as it takes time for people and businesses to adapt.
 

Lrd

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Take it from those on this thread who regularly work Night Tube (and speak to others who regularly work Night Tube across the Combine), because *that* is representative. Numbers aren't increasing - if anything they're reducing after the hype, with many people opting for the slower routes to avoid changes. Humans are inherently lazy.
Can you explain why there are discussions currently taking place about expanding Night Tube within this year?
 

Busaholic

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Can you explain why there are discussions currently taking place about expanding Night Tube within this year?

Because, a bit like the Borismaster bus, decisions may be made on the basis of wish fulfilment rather than rational dissection of the data?
 

bramling

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Can you explain why there are discussions currently taking place about expanding Night Tube within this year?

Because it's tied in with the Mayor of London and is seen as a source of political brownie points (i.e. increased chance of re-election)?

I think the plan was always to look at expanding to areas like London Overground. I'd lay a wager that we won't see any major growth to the LU Night Tube in the forseeable future, apart from maybe some tweaking.

I'm sure we'd all like a private train service to take us home from our leisure pursuits, but the flip side of the coin is that as a taxpayer I object to subsidising such a service for a small subset of people. I'd echo what others have said on here, it certainly doesn't seem to be shift-worker types using the Night Tube - not at all.
 

philthetube

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Because it's tied in with the Mayor of London and is seen as a source of political brownie points (i.e. increased chance of re-election)?

I think the plan was always to look at expanding to areas like London Overground. I'd lay a wager that we won't see any major growth to the LU Night Tube in the forseeable future, apart from maybe some tweaking.

I'm sure we'd all like a private train service to take us home from our leisure pursuits, but the flip side of the coin is that as a taxpayer I object to subsidising such a service for a small subset of people. I'd echo what others have said on here, it certainly doesn't seem to be shift-worker types using the Night Tube - not at all.

I imagine the biggest benefit to shift workers will be the early Sunday morning service, getting to Heathrow for early shifts used to cause real problems for some
 

jon0844

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I can't see any mayor wanting to be the one to get rid of a night tube service, so the most anyone could expect is no major expansions.

It's symbolic as much as anything else.
 

RJ

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Were you a Camberwell man? When staying at my sister's on Croxted Road I used to hear the N3 going along, and that was definitely a road where they caned it. Not unknown to get three buses one behind the other, either. Tough if you wanted a Bromley one and it sailed past the stop while a Crystal Palace one stopped! Mind you, I was very grateful when a drunk driver totalled my parked car there and driver Wallace stopped his night bus and offered to be a witness (I remember his surname because mine's the same)

Nope - I'm 25, only started as a weekend night driver in 2012 :) . Best to play it safe along Croxted Road, a car door could open at any time then it's game over. I'd cherry pick the fastest accelerating buses in the depot and always did the Bromley duties. Rarely overtook Crystal Palace buses but did make announcements at Trafalgar Square saying I was the slow bus to Brixton, causing a mass exodus onto the N159 that followed. I'd then fly past said N159 on Kennington Lane and leave it for dust.

According to the records the N3's frequency was boosted to every 15 minutes in 1998, was it still going to Chislehurst at that point? With no performance monitoring south of Trafalgar Square until April 2014, it wasn't uncommon for misbehaving drivers to take the mick and bunch up. I do recall the K plate Spectras from Camberwell, ridiculously nippy machines!
 
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Busaholic

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Nope - I'm 25, only started as a weekend night driver in 2012 :) . Best to play it safe along Croxted Road, a car door could open at any time then it's game over. I'd cherry pick the fastest accelerating buses in the depot and always did the Bromley duties. Rarely overtook Crystal Palace buses but did make announcements at Trafalgar Square saying I was the slow bus to Brixton, causing a mass exodus onto the N159 that followed. I'd then fly past said N159 on Kennington Lane and leave it for dust.

According to the records the N3's frequency was boosted to every 15 minutes in 1998, was it still going to Chislehurst at that point? With no performance monitoring south of Trafalgar Square until April 2014, it wasn't uncommon for misbehaving drivers to take the mick and bunch up. I do recall the K plate Spectras from Camberwell, ridiculously nippy machines!

Yes, it would have been Chislehurst: thanks for reminding me. The last bus link between Chislehurst and the Palace was broken with that withdrawal, after decades of the 227 and its predecessor.

Those Spectras were my absolute favourite London bus of the last thirty years. Only one managed to retain its single piece front upper deck for any length of time, which may say something about how they were driven! I'd just got off one at the Lower Regent Street stop one morning, having travelled in front offside seat all the way, went off for a coffee and a wander, returning to the top of Lower Regent St half an hour later to see the bus straddling the junction with a very broken window on that offside front. I'd only made a last minute decision to get off the bus there, too, so considered myself fortunate.

Don't get me on the subject of 3 v 159. After the 3 had been converted from Routemaster, on a few occasions when I'd just missed one in Regent Street I'd catch a 159 a couple of minutes later, still crew operated, in the hope of catching it up and overtaking it. It NEVER happened, overtaking that is.:)
 

Kite159

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I see on Twitter that members of the Aslef union have voted for strike action

Just what for now?

(Not happy about the agreement made when Night Tube started about any new drivers having to be with the company for 18 months before progressing, a deal struck by the unions to help Night Tube along to protect the existing drivers?, or is it just pay again?)
 

Lrd

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I see on Twitter that members of the Aslef union have voted for strike action

Just what for now?

(Not happy about the agreement made when Night Tube started about any new drivers having to be with the company for 18 months before progressing, a deal struck by the unions to help Night Tube along to protect the existing drivers?, or is it just pay again?)
It's not "just pay again". It is as advertised. Drivers were told Night Tube would be an entry point into the driving grade but are now being told they cannot apply for full time roles that are currently vacant, but other members of TfL are able to apply, including part time Night Tube station staff. They don't want to be stuck doing part time nights forever (even if they did sign up for it initially) which the case will be if the current plans to recruit a load more drivers now go through.
 

Busaholic

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It's not "just pay again". It is as advertised. Drivers were told Night Tube would be an entry point into the driving grade but are now being told they cannot apply for full time roles that are currently vacant, but other members of TfL are able to apply, including part time Night Tube station staff. They don't want to be stuck doing part time nights forever (even if they did sign up for it initially) which the case will be if the current plans to recruit a load more drivers now go through.

On the face of it, those drivers have a good case.
 

chris11256

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On the face of it, those drivers have a good case.

I was an applicant for the night tube driver role. Straight away when applying TFL made very clear that you'd have to wait 18 months before moving. Regardless of whether this was a depot move or going full time.
 

WelshBluebird

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I was an applicant for the night tube driver role. Straight away when applying TFL made very clear that you'd have to wait 18 months before moving. Regardless of whether this was a depot move or going full time.

Its also possible that the case is more related to the condition being unfair / potentially illegal than it not being known about.
 

mrmartin

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Any updates on the night tube? Any passenger statistics for example? Also, is the ELL still going to go 24hr on weekends by the end of 2017 still?
 

duncanp

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There is going to be the one of, if not the first, suspension of the night tube for engineering work at Easter.

Services on the entire Victoria Line will be suspended from 03:10 on Sunday 16th April, as well as all day on Easter Monday 17th April.
 

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