Consultation launched on night bus services

19 May 2015
"London's night buses carry more than 42 million passengers every year and demand has tripled since 1999, reflecting London's development as an increasingly 24-hour city"
  • 20 new services and one service extended to help passengers travel to and from Night Tube stations

Transport for London (TfL) has today (19 May 2015) begun consulting on proposed changes to the night bus network ahead of the introduction of the Night Tube, which will transform night-time journeys in London from this September.

The proposals follow a comprehensive review of TfL's night bus services. This looked at demand for new links on weekend-nights from suburban stations for passengers travelling to and from central London on the new Night Tube.

From Saturday 12 September, the start of the Night Tube service, TfL is proposing to continue all night bus services and introduce 20 new services and one extended service, to help customers travel to and from Night Tube stations. Seventeen of the new services would run on Friday and Saturday nights, with three running seven nights a week.

These would help passengers start or finish their Night Tube journeys, as well as providing new travel opportunities to and from suburban local centres. All of these new services would follow the same route and run between the same points as the day service.

These proposed new routes will contribute to the continuing year on year increase in the number of night buses on the road at weekends. This includes improvements to services on corridors not affected by Night Tube, which have already taken or will take place during the year.

The review has also identified opportunities to increase the efficiency of the night bus network. On some current night bus services TfL runs extra buses on Friday and Saturday nights to meet increased weekend demand. Based on detailed analysis of Oyster card and passenger survey data, it is anticipated that some passengers will choose to use the Night Tube instead once this becomes available in September.

As a result, TfL is proposing that it would no longer be necessary to run as many extra buses at weekends on 17 out of 117 existing night bus routes. These 17 services would continue to operate at their standard weekday frequency or more, providing a local, fully accessible service to all stops along the route.

The Night Tube will play a vital role in opening up London's night-time economy to a host of new opportunities, supporting around 2,000 permanent jobs and boosting the economy by £360 million.

Mike Weston, TfL's Director of Buses, said:

'London's night buses carry more than 42 million passengers every year and demand has tripled since 1999, reflecting London's development as an increasingly 24-hour city.

'The introduction of the Night Tube will see journey times for customers cut by an average of 20 minutes, with some reduced by more than an hour. At the same time, night buses will continue to run frequently across London complementing Night Tube services, giving passengers more choice. Our proposals include the introduction of up to 20 brand new suburban night bus services that will expand the transport network in outer London.'

The public consultation, which runs from today until 1 July, is available online at TfL will carefully review all the responses before final decisions are made.

Since TfL was formed in 2000 it has invested heavily in London's bus network, resulting in a 69 per cent increase in passenger numbers. London Buses now carry more than 2.4 billion passengers a year, which equates to half of all bus journeys made in England.

In recognition of the continued need to invest in bus services given the city's rapidly growing population, TfL's latest Business Plan has dedicated around £500 million to improve the network in the period from 2015/16 to 2020/21. This will include funding for over 500 extra buses, which will create capacity for an extra 2.9 million customer journeys each week.

There is also an additional £200 million which will be invested in supporting the reliability of the bus network at a local level with bus priority schemes, and a further £25 million will be used to fund customer-focused bus driver training to improve customer service.


Notes to Editors:

  • Consultation documents can be found at:
  • When the weekend Night Tube service launches there will be on average six trains per hour through central London on all Night Tube lines, including the Jubilee, Victoria and most of the Piccadilly, Central and Northern lines. On the Northern line, there will be eight trains per hour to meet demand at busy stations between Leicester Square and Camden Town.
  • The new Night Tube network has been made possible because significant parts of the LU network have been successfully modernised.
  • It is estimated that the Night Tube will lead to a gross impact of 1,965 permanent jobs. The net additional output produced as a result equates to an additional £360m over 30 years, which is a standard length of time for a transport appraisal.
  • For more information on the Night Tube please visit
  • The number of night bus services in London has increased significantly in recent years with passenger numbers increasing more than 200 per cent.
  • There are currently 117 night and 24-hour routes.