The launch of overnight London Underground services on Friday and Saturday nights could be delayed following industrial action by the four major Tube unions.
London has been paralysed by strikes twice so far over the summer as Transport for London and the unions have failed to reach a deal over operating the new service, which will see the Piccadilly, Victoria, Northern and Jubilee lines run all night on weekends.
According to The Guardian TfL says that employees will be able to choose whether to work nights or not following a "transition period" of a year - but it is unwilling to give the unions specific guarantees on this. The RMT union has also made noises about how the plans could jeopardise maintenance - usually stations and track are inspected overnight when the Tube is closed.
Other parts of the TfL proposal include staff being offered a £500 bonus when the night tube starts along with a 2% pay increase. The unions still aren't happy about shift patterns though, arguing that if a driver has to work overnight Saturday, finishing on Sunday morning, there is not enough time for them to recover if they have to be at work again on Monday morning for a day shift.
Part-time Mayor Boris Johnson has apparently said that he is "not fussed" about overnight services starting on September 12th exactly, when they were originally mooted to begin - but instead he just wants them to start in the autumn. TfL is apparently now claiming that the date is a "target" that is only achievable if a deal with the unions can be done, rather than a hard deadline.
So if you're planning a late night on the 12th of September to celebrate the new service... it might be time to book a minicab after all. [The Guardian]