Night Tube Back On Track, But Boris Johnson Still Won’t Reveal Start Date

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The Night Tube is seemingly back on track with London Mayor Boris Johnson announcing that the ongoing dispute with trade unions which derailed the scheme last year and led to a series of strikes, would be remedied with the creation of 180 part-time jobs.

The all-night service, set to run on Friday and Saturday evenings, was due to start on 12 September 2015, but in August London Underground postponed it. Two months later, in October, it was announced the service would not happen in 2015.

On Tuesday Johnson announced that the creation of the new jobs would resolve the dispute. He told radio station LBC: “We're doing a new approach, which is a no-brainer. I can't see any way it would fall foul with our friends at the trades unions. We have 300 new part-time drivers for the night time (Transport for London later corrected the figure to 180)."

boris johnson december 2015

London Mayor Boris Johnson has announced part-time drivers would be hired to get the Night Tube plans back on track

Johnson said that existing drivers could apply for those jobs, and some of them had. More than 4,000 applications had been received, he said.

Despite the announcement, Johnson refused to put a new date on when the Night Tube would be launched.

He told LBC: "What I won't do is pay an unreasonable price for it, which Londoners would feel in their fares."

Night Tubes would run on the Victoria and Jubilee lines as well as most of the Piccadilly, Northern and Central lines.

night tube

Johnson wouldn't put a date on when the Night Tube service would begin

In October 2015, when plans for the Night Tube were sidelined for the year, Finn Brennan from the train drivers' union, Aslef, said: "We have made it clear to London Underground that we want to keep talking and develop a solution that delivers Night Tube while protecting and improving work life balance for our members.

"We have put forward a number of proposals to resolve this dispute in a way that is fair and benefits both sides.

"London Underground have rejected them all. Most disappointingly of all they have decided to blackmail their own employees by refusing to make a pay offer unless staff agree to worsen their working conditions.

"That is not something we are prepared to accept. Underground management have completely mishandled these negotiations. They have wasted every opportunity for a settlement and seem to have been determined to provoke confrontation rather than resolution."

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London Tube Strike

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  • A passer-by reacts after being offered a leaflet by a member of the tssa union outside King's Cross station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

  • A passer-by takes a leaflet from a member of the tssa union outside King's Cross station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

  • People queue for buses in London, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015. Commuters are facing a day of disruption after a strike shut down the London Underground system for a second time this summer. Unions walked off the job amid a dispute about how to implement a new 24-hour service on weekends. Unions argue work-life balance issues haven't been addressed and that management should hire more people to cover extra shifts. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

  • Buses queue in London, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015. Commuters are facing a day of disruption after a strike shut down the London Underground system for a second time this summer. Unions walked off the job amid a dispute about how to implement a new 24-hour service on weekends. Unions argue work-life balance issues haven't been addressed and that management should hire more people to cover extra shifts. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

  • Workers refill bicycle hire racks in London, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015. Commuters are facing a day of disruption after a strike shut down the London Underground system for a second time this summer. Unions walked off the job amid a dispute about how to implement a new 24-hour service on weekends. Unions argue work-life balance issues haven't been addressed and that management should hire more people to cover extra shifts. (AP Photo/Ashley Chan)

  • People cycle, run or walk across London Bridge in central London, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015. Commuters are facing a day of disruption after a strike shut down the London Underground system for a second time this summer. Unions walked off the job amid a dispute about how to implement a new 24-hour service on weekends. Unions argue work-life balance issues haven't been addressed and that management should hire more people to cover extra shifts. (AP Photo/Tony Hicks)

  • Commuters queue for buses as a 24 hour tube strike hits the morning rush hour at Victoria station, central London on August 6, 2015. The strike began at 6:30 pm (1730 GMT) on August 5 and will run until Friday morning, causing disruption for millions of commuters and tourists.
    AFP PHOTO/Leon Neal (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Commuters queue for buses as a 24 hour tube strike hits the morning rush hour at Victoria station, central London on August 6, 2015. The strike began at 6:30 pm (1730 GMT) on August 5 and will run until Friday morning, causing disruption for millions of commuters and tourists.
    AFP PHOTO/Leon Neal (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL,LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Two skaters take part in a promotional event by Penny Skateboards, giving free boards to stranded commuters as a 24 hour tube strike hits the morning rush hour at Victoria station, central London on August 6, 2015. The strike began at 6:30 pm (1730 GMT) on August 5 and will run until Friday morning, causing disruption for millions of commuters and tourists.
    AFP PHOTO/Leon Neal (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Commuters cross the river Thames on the Millennium footbridge as a tube strike hits the morning rush hour in the city of London on August 6, 2015. Millions of Londoners were forced to walk, cycle or take packed buses to work today as Underground staff staged a second strike in a month over plans to run trains all night at weekends. London Underground staff walked out yesterday evening and will not return until the morning of August 7, causing a shutdown of all 11 lines on the subway network and severely disrupting the capital.
    AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL,BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Commuters cross the river Thames on the Millennium footbridge as a tube strike hits the morning rush hour in the city of London on August 6, 2015. Millions of Londoners were forced to walk, cycle or take packed buses to work today as Underground staff staged a second strike in a month over plans to run trains all night at weekends. London Underground staff walked out yesterday evening and will not return until the morning of August 7, causing a shutdown of all 11 lines on the subway network and severely disrupting the capital.
    AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL,BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • London Underground Piccadilly Line tube trains are parked at the Northfields Depot in west London on August 6, 2015 during a 24-hour strike of Underground staff. Millions of Londoners were forced to walk, cycle or take packed buses to work as Underground staff staged a second strike in a month over plans to run trains all night at weekends. London Underground staff walked out on August 5 evening and will not return until the morning of August 7, causing a shutdown of all 11 lines on the subway network and severely disrupting the capital. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • London Underground Piccadilly Line tube trains are parked at the Northfields Depot in west London on August 6, 2015 during a 24-hour strike of Underground staff. Millions of Londoners were forced to walk, cycle or take packed buses to work as Underground staff staged a second strike in a month over plans to run trains all night at weekends. London Underground staff walked out on August 5 evening and will not return until the morning of August 7, causing a shutdown of all 11 lines on the subway network and severely disrupting the capital. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Commuters are reflected in a bus window as they queue for a bus in London, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015. Commuters are facing a day of disruption after a strike shut down the London Underground system for a second time this summer. Unions walked off the job amid a dispute about how to implement a new 24-hour service on weekends. Unions argue work-life balance issues haven't been addressed and that management should hire more people to cover extra shifts. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

  • Police officers stand guard at a bus stop outside Paddington Station in London, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015. Commuters are facing a day of disruption after a strike shut down the London Underground system for a second time this summer. Unions walked off the job amid a dispute about how to implement a new 24-hour service on weekends. Unions argue work-life balance issues haven't been addressed and that management should hire more people to cover extra shifts. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

  • Ticket entrance machines are seen behind metal gates at the closed entrance to Marylebone tube station in London, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015. Commuters are facing a day of disruption after a strike shut down the London Underground system for a second time this summer. Unions walked off the job amid a dispute about how to implement a new 24-hour service on weekends. Unions argue work-life balance issues haven't been addressed and that management should hire more people to cover extra shifts. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

  • Thousands of bicycles are locked in a bike rack at Paddington Station in London, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015. Commuters are facing a day of disruption after a strike shut down the London Underground system for a second time this summer. Unions walked off the job amid a dispute about how to implement a new 24-hour service on weekends. Unions argue work-life balance issues haven't been addressed and that management should hire more people to cover extra shifts. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

  • Passengers crowd around a bus stop outside Paddington Station in London, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015. Commuters are having to find alternative methods of travel Thursday as the London tubes are not running due to a strike. London's mayor has ruled out offering more money to resolve a London Underground labor set to shut down services for the second time this summer. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

  • Passengers crowd around a bus stop outside Paddington Station in London, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015. Commuters are having to find alternative methods of travel Thursday as the London tubes are not running due to a strike. London's mayor has ruled out offering more money to resolve a London Underground labor set to shut down services for the second time this summer. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

  • People wait for buses close to Brixton Underground station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

  • Police watch as people queue for a bus near Stratford station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

  • RMT members hold a picket outside Brixton Underground station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

  • RMT members hold a picket outside Brixton Underground station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

  • RMT members hold a picket outside Brixton Underground station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

  • RETRANSMISSION WITH IMPROVED QUALITY People stand on a cramped bus from Finsbury Park station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

  • RETRANSMISSION WITH IMPROVED QUALITY People stand on a cramped bus from Finsbury Park station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

  • People queue for buses near Stratford station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

  • Police wait by a bus stop as people queue for a bus near Stratford station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

  • Police watch as people queue for a bus near Stratford station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

  • RMT members hold a picket outside Brixton Underground station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

  • RMT members hold a picket outside Brixton Underground station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

  • A commuter asks for directions outside a closed Brixton Underground station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

  • People queue for buses near Liverpool Street station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

  • Commuters wait to board a train to Kings Cross at Finsbury Park overground station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

  • Commuters wait to board a train to Kings Cross at Finsbury Park overground station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

  • Commuters wait to board a train to Kings Cross at Finsbury Park overground station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

  • Police look on as people queue for a bus at Stratford station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

  • BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE People stand on a cramped bus from Finsbury Park station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

  • People queue for a bus at Stratford station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

  • BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE People stand on a cramped bus from Finsbury Park station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

  • People queue for a bus at Stratford station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

  • People queue for a bus at Stratford station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

  • People queue for a bus at Stratford station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

  • Travellers are turned away at Paddington Underground station, London, as a strike by Underground workers closed the capital's entire Tube system. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday August 5, 2015. Members of four unions are taking industrial action for the second time in a month because of a deadlocked dispute over plans to launch a new all-night service next month. See PA story INDUSTRY Tube. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA WireA closed sign at Waterloo Underground station, London, as a strike by Underground workers closed the capital's entire Tube system. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday August 5, 2015. Members of four unions are taking industrial action for the second time in a month because of a deadlocked dispute over plans to launch a new all-night service next month. See PA story INDUSTRY Tube. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

  • A man looks at a Tube map at a partially closed entrance at Paddington Underground station, London, as a strike by Underground workers closed the capital's entire Tube system. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday August 5, 2015. Members of four unions are taking industrial action for the second time in a month because of a deadlocked dispute over plans to launch a new all-night service next month. See PA story INDUSTRY Tube. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA WireA closed sign at Waterloo Underground station, London, as a strike by Underground workers closed the capital's entire Tube system. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday August 5, 2015. Members of four unions are taking industrial action for the second time in a month because of a deadlocked dispute over plans to launch a new all-night service next month. See PA story INDUSTRY Tube. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

  • People queue for a bus at Stratford station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

  • People queue for a bus at Stratford station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

  • People walk past a closed Finsbury Park underground station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

  • BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE People stand on a cramped bus from Finsbury Park station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

  • BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE People stand on a cramped bus from Finsbury Park station, London, as commuters and tourists face a day of travel chaos because of a strike which has closed the underground.

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Current Slide

Workers had been set to stage two two-day strikes before August's postponement, but they were called off at the last minute as a “goodwill” gesture, according to Unite.

In July, unions staged their biggest walkout in 13 years over the introduction of the Night Tube.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) has previously described the service as a "vanity project" of Johnson's claiming it was "fundamentally flawed from top to bottom".

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