On 12 September London’s Tube line will extend its services on a Friday and Saturday to offer a 24-hour service on five of its lines: the Jubilee, Victoria, Central, Northern and Piccadilly Lines in a move which is sure to please a number of central London events venues, including ourselves.
We have noticed that businesses are looking to host more informal evening events in recent years with more flexible arrival and start times as guests like to be able to catch the last train home. Organising multiple taxis for our guests after the event is a challenge at busy times and we have found that organisers prefer to finish their events prior to last tube and train schedules.
A 24-hour Tube line would take away all of this hassle and could potentially lead to changes in early morning and evening event booking trends. Once the Tube extension is in full swing we expect to see more breakfast and evening events being booked at the venue and a greater uptake in the traditional late-night Christmas party and early or late set ups, which in recent years have been scaled down due to additional transport costs.
The Tube extension will also bring London in line with many international cities such as New York, Copenhagen, Las Vegas and Tokyo who all offer 24-hour transport services, making London an even more attractive events destination for international events.
The other major advantage for RIBA Venues is the cost saving on transport for our staff after an evening event: it gives us the peace of mind that our staff can get home after work without the struggle of ordering a taxi or navigating a night bus.
Time will tell whether or not the Tube extension will help us to attract a different clientele and a change to weekend evening events as we currently know them. Of course, there are further considerations that will continue to restrict venue operating hours – licence restrictions and keeping the neighbours happy (very important in such a densely populated city) are the two big issues that spring to mind – but as a venue in a Central London location which benefits from such great transport links the Tube extension can only be a good thing.