London’s 150-year-old Tube network is set to follow the New York and Berlin subway systems with the launch of a 24-hour weekend service this autumn. Come September 12, the Tube will be opening its doors to the capital’s army of night-shift workers, clubbers and party goers returning home.
Eventually, Transport for London hopes to roll out a 24-hour service seven days a week. This could open up more affordable areas for Londoners who are currently put off by the lack of late-night transport.
Already more than half a million people use the Tube after 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and TfL estimates that, from September, at least 180,000 journeys will be made between 3am and 6am.
IMAGE GALLERY: NEW HOMES FOR 24-HOUR PARTY PEOPLE
London's all-night Tube: new homes for 24-hour party people
London's all-night Tube: new homes for 24-hour party people
1/12 Riverdale House
From £237,500: creatively designed and kitted-out flats, in a restored Victorian watermill at Riverdale House in Lewisham. Call 020 7620 150
2/12 Greenwich Peninsula
From £300,000: a 10,000-home and 24-hour entertainment district is being built around the O2 at Greenwich Peninsula, where new apartments have been unveiled. The Waterman has flats with corner balconies and a communal roof garden. Call 020 3713 6153.
3/12 Merano Residences
Fashionably located on the South Bank of the river and within easy reach of Westminster, Chelsea and Knightsbridge, flats at Merano Residences are just a five minute walk to Vauxhall station.
4/12 Stanmore Place
From £385,000: a 798-home community at Stanmore Place in award-winning landscaped grounds with lake, cycle paths and play areas. There is a gym, car club and 24-hour concierge (scroll right...)
5/12 Stanmore Place
From £457,500: Royal Crescent is the latest phase at Stanmore Place, featuring 103 flats and penthouses. Nearby Canons Park station is in Zone 5 on the Jubilee line.
6/12 Beaufort Park
From £329,950: Beaufort Park, close to Colindale tube station, has been built on the site of a former RAF aerodrome. Set in 25 acres, the scheme has a pub, café, convenience store, nursery, spa and a gym.
7/12 Drayton Garden Village
From £394,950: Drayton Garden Village has a mix of apartments plus some very good-value, spacious townhouses with gardens. Call 01895 431901
8/12 Old Vinyl Factory
The Old Vinyl Factory is a new quarter with 630 homes, fashion boutiques, work studios, bars and cafes, a cinema and museum (scroll right...)
9/12 Old Vinyl Factory
Gatefold, the first phase of 132 apartments at The Old Vinyl Factory will be unveiled later this year. Call 020 7939 0800.
10/12 Edgware Green
From £720,000: houses at Edgware Green are set within landscaped gardens (scroll right...)
11/12 Edgware Green
From £720,000: the nearest stations to Edgware Green are Stanmore and Edgware (both Zone 5) with quick half-hour commutes to central London.
12/12 Skyline Collection
The Skyline Collection has new flats and penthouses on Haggerston Road are close to lively Shoreditch and Hoxton, with just 20-minute commutes to Liverpool Street.
The 24-hour Tube is expected to alter the dynamics of the city. West End bars and clubs will welcome this initiative and, like all transport upgrades, it will cause significant property ripples.
Cheaper end-of-the-line locations such as Edgware and Morden, Walthamstow and Ruislip could experience the biggest property impact as these places will no longer be cut-off after midnight. They may also cease to be cultural blackspots as the local “scene” — cafés, bars and music venues — may improve on the back of the Night Tube.
The late-night line-up
Initially, the service will operate across five lines — Northern, Victoria, Piccadilly, Jubilee and Central, each providing up to eight trains an hour. Other lines, including Overground and DLR, are coming later. Fares will be the same as during the day so young concert and theatre goers will not have to fork out for expensive cab fares to get home or suffer a long journey on a rowdy night bus.
Johnny Morris, research director of Hamptons International, says: “This is likely to feed into rental demand and open up more affordable areas. Most young renters and buyers will head further south and east, which are the cheaper sides of London.
“Our research shows a real shift east through Hackney and Newham and a push south through Lambeth and Lewisham.”
Boris bike docks have had a similar property impact, creating new rental opportunities on the edge of Zone 1 and at locations deeper into Zone 2. This also influences where landlords buy property.
Noisy night owls
The Night Tube will add to the Night Bus services across London, which, though much slower than Tube trains, have seen usage climb by 270 per cent since 2000.
Despite having no regular Night Tube until now, London has very much become a nocturnal city. This applies across the employment spectrum — currency traders and cleaners at Canary Wharf, hospitality industry workers, doctors and NHS staff and countless key workers, including transport staff themselves, will all benefit from the Night Tube.
Late-night clubbing hotspots such as Dalston, Camden, King’s Cross, Vauxhall and Brixton are likely to become even busier.
The downside could be anti-social behaviour. Following complaints from residents, Lambeth has come under pressure to impose London’s first early morning restriction order on licensed premises at Wandsworth Road, while residents in Dalston are calling for restrictions on the area’s burgeoning nightlife. Hackney has already introduced wardens to patrol streets on Fridays and Saturdays. But London businesses solidly support the Night Tube. One study shows it will provide a £360 million boost to the economy.
Great for business
Rebecca Kane, general manager of O2, London’s biggest concert arena, believes it will “revolutionise London’s night-time economy and have a positive impact on those who work and play in it”. She adds: “This is great for London and London business.”
A 10,000-home and 24-hour entertainment district is being built around the O2 at Greenwich Peninsula, where new apartments have been unveiled, priced from £300,000. Call 020 3713 6153.
Greenwich council has welcomed the Night Tube, especially as this borough has more new homes in the pipeline than most others. Nearby Woolwich is set for a Crossrail station in 2018 and integrated 24-hour Tube services are another reason to consider buying in this fast-improving area. Developer Berkeley Homes is building 592 apartments in five tower blocks above the new Tube station. Prices start from £425,000. Call 020 8331 7130.
Developers say buyers will leapfrog Zone 2 to find better value further out, and they are using their recently acquired “place-making” skills to create proper neighbourhoods with integrated facilities for families. Stanmore Place is one such welcome arrival in north-west London. It is a 798-home community in award-winning landscaped grounds with a lake, cycle paths and play areas.
There is a gym, car club and 24-hour concierge, too. Two-bedroom flats start at £385,000. Call St Edward Homes on 020 3417 5323. Nearby Canons Park station is in Zone 5 on the Jubilee line. Meanwhile, Beaufort Park, close to Colindale Tube station, has been built on the site of a former RAF aerodrome. Set in 25 acres, the scheme has a pub, café, convenience store, nursery, spa and a gym. These are affordably priced flats in a location with fast transport links to central London and a quick exit out of the city. Prices start at £329,950. Call 020 8511 8600.
Suburbs are blooming
Hillingdon in west London is one of several Metropolitan line stations built specifically to serve suburban developments. The borough is a big Crossrail winner, and major housing projects include Drayton Garden Village, which will have 775 homes, with architecture inspired by the Thirties garden city movement.
The 31-acre site used to be the UK’s main air traffic control centre, a compound cut off from the public. Inland Homes is building a mix of apartments plus some good-value, spacious townhouses with gardens priced from £394,950. Call 01895 431901 for details.
A sound investment
Redundant factory sites are also getting a new lease of life. EMI’s historic headquarters in Ealing is being transformed into The Old Vinyl Factory, a new neighbourhood, with 630 homes, fashion boutiques, work studios, bars and restaurants and a cinema and museum set to make it a destination address. Gatefold, the first phase of the project, will inlcude 132 apartments and is named after the famous album record sleeves of the Sixties and Seventies. Properties for sale will be unveiled later this year. Call Cathedral Group on 020 7939 0800.