London’s Night Tube must reopen for women’s safety, says petition

By Lucy Thackray
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Tens of thousands of people have signed a petition calling for London’s “Night Tube” to be reinstalled, amid concerns about women’s safety.

The late-night tube service was started on certain evenings in 2016, but was halted last year due to the pandemic.

Ella Watson launched the petition, writing: “In the UK and London women and girls are unsafe on the streets, especially at night.

“The rightful outcry at the recent murders of Sabina Nessa and Sarah Everard on London’s streets, epitomises the fear women face of walking alone or standing on the streets in the evening and at night.”

She says the lack of late-night underground services is forcing women to pay for expensive taxis home when they feel unsafe walking or taking night buses, a feeling that has increased for some as the nights get darker earlier on.

“The decision taken by TfL to keep the night tube closed over the winter of 2021/2022 will have a disproportionate impact on women and low-income groups, with women forced to take expensive taxis home during the busy festive season as a result of being unsafe in public,” wrote Watson.

Yesterday the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan told LBC that there would be an announcement on the Night Tube in “in a couple of weeks”.

Khan cited staff shortages and the “pingdemic” as some of the reasons why the late-night service had not been reintroduced, but said that he “understands the importance” of having it available.

However, the petition will not go on to be debated in Parliament because it is not hosted on the official website

A spokesperson for the House of Commons has confirmed that even if it reaches 100,000 signatures, the petition will not qualify for a debate by MPs.

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