Newham Recorder Big Debate: 24-hour weekend tube services

Transport for London (TfL) says the move would support almost 2,000 jobs, but is it really a good idea in practice?

Festus Akinbusoye, founder of Newham Conservatives Business Club

Good news. A 24-hour Underground service is coming to a Tube station near you.

Sadly, it will not begin until September 2015 and it will only be on weekends.

However, and for now, this is a positive step in the right direction towards an economy that means business.

More and more of us in London are using the Tube late at night. The number of late night Underground Tube journeys have risen at twice the rate of daytime journeys since 2000.

Newham is also set to benefit from the 'Night Tube' service with the inclusion of the Jubilee Line.

But it is astonishing that we are just getting here now.

New York is truly the city that never sleeps.

It has had a full 24-hour train service since 1904 when its first train started running from Lower Manhattan to the Bronx.

Copenhagen and Tokyo also run a 24-hour service.

For a city with London's global economic influence, population and industry – September 2015 will mark an epochal moment in our transportation history.

Further on the benefits of this new service, evidence suggest that a sizeable population of Newham's working residents work outside the borough and a number of these rely on night time public transport.

As an employer, I have colleagues who work near Heathrow but live here in Newham.

Since getting home at night after a late shift requires a four-hour bus ride home, one can see how this new service will benefit such hard working people at weekends.

On another positive note, even the Trade Unions are in favour of this.

Christmas must be arriving early in 2015 – surely!

I look forward to the day when we can have a 24/7 Underground Tube service in London, but until then, just the weekends will have to do for now.