The delay of the Night Tube is ruining my twenties

It shouldn’t take three hours to get from one side of London to the other


There were talks of the Night Tube over two years ago, it’s now 2016 and it’s still not here. Cities like Berlin, Copenhagen, New York, Sydney and Chicago all have an all night tube that’s benefiting businesses and ordinary civilians – how can London be one of the most developed cities in the world and still not have a system in place yet? The media gives us fortnightly updates of the most recent strikes and talks to make us feel like discussions are taking place. Essentially, they are drip feeding us small chunks of information on the action so the topic remains in our consciousness and we start to believe something is being done about it – when in reality, nothing is.

After graduating I moved back home to High Barnet – the last stop on the Northern Line. A journey that would normally take around half an hour on the tube during the day now takes me around one hour and 30 minutes on the night bus.

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Don’t get me wrong I love the night bus. We’ve all been there at 4am on the top deck slurring The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air  theme tune at the top of our lungs, whilst some poor soul is hunched over the corner throwing up into a Chicken Cottage bucket. The undeniable sense of comradery and the friendly bonds made with total strangers is something beautiful.

But living and working in London is supposed to be efficient. All I want to do is being able to go out in Peckham and not have to face a gruelling two and a half hour journey back to Barnet.

Anyone living in Zones 3-9 will understand the pain of having to leave a party or pub in order to get the last tube home. They also know the frustration of missing it by minutes and being faced with a tedious bus journey because an Uber back home will leave them penniless.

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A few weeks ago on my way back from a night out, I decided to splash out on an Uber from Brixton to Camden and then hoped to catch the N20 back home to North London. I’d had too many drinks and somehow had managed to sprain my ankle, so fell asleep as soon as I was on the bus. I was shaken awake by an anxious bus driver on an empty bus. Expecting to see Barnet High Street out my window, instead I saw hundreds of double decker buses. The bus had diverted unexpectedly and I had ended up alone in an industrial bus park in Archway.

The bus driver directed me to the nearest N20 bus stop which was over a mile away, so I hobbled home – I left Brixton at 3:30am and arrived at my front door at 7am.

In 2016 it should not take three and a half hours to get from one side of London to the other.