You may have heard that finally Sheriff Ken has decreed that the London Underground will be open for an extra hour on Friday and Saturday nights until 1am from May 2007. This is after a public consultatation which attracted 54,000 responses, with the majority in favour of the late night service. However, as a compromise this means that on Saturday mornings trains will start running from 0630 rather than 0530.
As a bit of a night owl, I'm all for the later openings but "The proposals raised fears that shift workers and those catching flights from Heathrow would be affected.."
However, Ken Livingstone feels that the compromise works "This package ensures the Tube runs later on Friday and Saturday nights whilst protecting the needs of early morning commuters."
An opposing view came from Justin Bowden, the GMB union's senior London organiser, who said there should be consultations with morning employees such as cleaning and retail staff and NHS workers.
"It is not right to rob Peter of his train to take him to work to enable Paul to socialise later at the weekend. Both demands need to be accommodated," he said.
The changed timetable will mean that people can stay out longer and boost London's "late night economy" (pubs, clubs & eateries). British Transport Police apparently are gearing up to cope with the extra "business". Some taxi drivers will get a bit miffed. Also if you have a very early morning flight you might have to find an alternative route, and there is the issue of the Saturday morning staff.
But what do you think? Are you generally in favour or do you agree with Justin Bowden's robbing Peter to let Paul play analogy?