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Arts & Culture Series: Expert Comment

Night Tube could help enable “innovative changes” in London’s night-time economy, says City expert

Professor Andy Pratt says transport should be part of an overarching plan for the night-time economy


Professor Andy PrattThe Night Tube could help bring about long-term “innovative changes” to London’s night-time culture and economy, according to Professor Andy Pratt of City University London.

However, Professor Pratt, who is on the London ‘night mayor’ advisory committee and Director of the Centre for Culture and the Creative Industries at City, says the new service will form only one part of efforts to make the capital a 24-hour city.

He said: "The introduction of the all-night Tube is not going to be a revolution. We have had a night bus system for many years. Nobody would choose to commute on a night bus though – in the short term, the main beneficiaries are going to be the workers who staff the venues and events and they will no longer have to take the night bus or taxi home. This will save them time and money.

“Of course, the Night Tube will also make it easier for night revellers – it will mean that the rush for last orders, or from the final curtain, will be relaxed. Those wanting to stay later already had the option of the night bus. However, in the longer term we might see innovative changes in the night culture and economy of London – staffing such changes will no longer be such a problem.

“The cultural economy – which relies upon night-time activity – is playing an increasingly important role in all world cities, London is no exception. Transport is but one component of supporting a 24-hour city, challenges of licensing and policing are others. This is why the establishment of specific oversight of the ‘night-time economy’ is needed, hence the timely proposals for a London ‘night-mayor’, as in other major European cities.”

The Centre for Culture and the Creative Industries is in the Department of Sociology. It is celebrating 40 years of study and research into cultural and creative industries in 2016.

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