London Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced that the Night Tube will resume on November 27 after 139,000 called for its return to provide women with a safe mode of transport following the murders of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa.
The service was initially suspended on March 20, 2020 as the Covid pandemic hit the UK, forcing it into lockdown. It was initially not due to resume until 2022, according to Transport Commissioner Andy Byford, due to post-Covid funding and staffing issues.
Following the murders of Sabina Nessa and Sarah Everard on the streets of London, over 139,000 people signed a petition calling for the service to be swiftly reinstated to provide women with a safe mode of transport at night.
The petition expressed the importance of “the running of a well-lit and well-connected tube network, with platform CCTV and appropriately trained security staff serves as the best transport option” to ensure millions of women across London are protected from potential threats facing them.
“I know how important [the Night Tube] is to London’s thriving night-time economy, to London’s recovery and to the confidence and safety of everyone travelling home at night, particularly women and girls,” Khan said on Thursday, announcing its return.
Initially, the Night Tube will resume on the Victoria and Central lines, with Transport for London working to ensure it “can return as soon as possible” on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines. The network has been wrestling with staff shortages and challenges in training new drivers throughout the pandemic.
“With a focus on vulnerability, and the safety of women at night, and thousands of night workers within London we must push to get the full service established at the earliest opportunity and open London’s late night economy fully to the public,” Michael Kill, chief executive officer of the Night Time Industries Association, stated in response to the news.
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Nessa was found murdered in Cator Park, South London on September 18, having disappeared while walking to meet a friend who lived a short distance from her home. A 36-year-old man has been arrested for her killing, pending trial. Everard’s case sparked widespread anger in the UK when she was brutally kidnapped, raped and murdered by then-serving police officer Wayne Couzens. Couzens had used his official police ID to fake an arrest and abduct Everard from a London street.
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