24-hour Tube welcomed by bar and club trade

tube latenightPlans to run parts of the London Underground round the clock at weekends have been welcomed by the bar and club industry.

The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), which has campaigned for the change for the past five years, said the move would benefit late-night operators and improve safety for their staff and customers.

Transport for London has announced that, by 2015, it will run trains on the Piccadilly, Victoria, Central and Jubilee lines and key sections of the Northern line continuously till morning on Friday and Saturday nights. It will be expanded to include other lines in future years.

ALMR strategic affairs director Kate Nicholls said: “We very much welcome today’s announcement that the Tube will finally be brought into the 21st century and meet the needs of a modern, dynamic city, a vibrant late-night economy and, most importantly, the hundreds of thousands of visitors who come to enjoy it each Friday and Saturday night.”

The West End Commission’s 2013 Report recommended an overhaul of London’s night-time transport arrangements to reflect the needs of people going to late-night bars, pubs, restaurants and clubs as later operation would prevent flashpoints from developing.

Kate said: “This is something we have been campaigning for over the past five years and it will be a huge boost to pubs and bars in London when it is delivered.

“Customers coming in to go to the theatre or to shop will feel more comfortable staying for a drink or meal, confident that they can get home quickly and safely at the end of the night.

“We will finally have a modern transport system which meets the needs of a £1.5billion industry.

“More importantly, later running of the tube will make it safer for our staff and customers to get home and reduce crime, disorder and nuisance by encouraging gradual dispersal.

“That will be the biggest benefit – the trade will no longer get the blame for flashpoints caused by an inadequate transport infrastructure.”

The chairman of the ALMR is Steve Richards, chief executive of late-night bar and club operator Novus Leisure. The association’s members includes increasing numbers of companies operating in the late-night sector including Be At One, Beds and Bars, Barworks, CG Restaurants & Bars, DHP, Fabric, Glendola Leisure, Grand Union, Intertain, Inventive Leisure, The Luminar Group, Living Ventures, Ministry of Sound, Mint Group, Stonegate Pub Company and TCG.

Announcing the plan for 24-hour operations at weekends, London mayor Boris Johnson said: “This will not just boost jobs and our vibrant night-time economy, it will further cement London’s reputation as the best big city on the planet to in which to live, work, visit and invest.”

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