Why The Night Tube Is Going To Be The Worst Thing To Happen To London

Brawls with strangers, more vomit, and no reminder to go home

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As children we all dreamed of teleportation as a means of travel, snapping our fingers and instantly materialising in another location. When we realised that was an unattainable dream we settled instead for the tube running all night.

Wouldn't it be great, we pondered, if we didn't have to chuck down our last vodka tonic and leg it to get the 00:07, leaving a scrambled trail of McNuggets in our wake. How we would dance down carriages, clinking ciders with strangers and high-fiving buskers.

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Well, be careful what you wish for.

Next month London Underground will introduce the Night Tube, and whilst its glittery moniker might suggest something that would spit you out in front of Hogwarts, it's more likely to be a non-stop service to the seventh circle of hell.

The Night Tube will be introduced initially on Fridays and Saturdays, coinciding not coincidentally with the two days of the week that the entire population go out and get plastered. Somehow Boris Johnson got the go head, despite TFL and the unions knowing the 24/7 Lash Express would resemble rows 48-60 of a flight to Magaluf in July.

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But perhaps you're not as much of a cynic as I am. Perhaps you envisage 2am friendships born whilst waiting for the lights of a westbound tube that burst onto the platform and illuminate a charming snapshot of society. Unlikely romances kindled by strangers swapping cigarettes and sharing the night gone by in an urban recreation of the Stone Circle at Glastonbury.

In reality, 5am at Leicester Square ticket hall will resemble The Battle of Helms Deep. Couples arguing, friends and enemies endlessly chanting, yelling and brawling. The fight to get home will include watching a stranger throw up down the rolling silver partition between escalators. We should just rename it The Vomit Comet now.

Drunken people themselves aren't the issue. If that were the case, we would avoid going out in public Thursday to Sunday. The problem is the crossing of so many people with different destinations and varying levels of inebriation in a confined space.

If you've ever got the first tube home after an all-nighter and been met by the indignation of a sober stranger on their way to work, furious you're half cut and not in bed, you'll understand. The Night Tube will undoubtedly pit us against each other, smug Saturday morning yogis and DJ's who stink of Jaegermeister will mix with horrified families on their way to Heathrow.

With the introduction of Uber and ease at which you can split fairs with friends, the cost issue no longer counts as a strong defense for the Night Tube. Uber is far more reasonable than TFL, whose pricing is so uncompetitive they may as well sell tickets in shillings. 

And despite all of this, the reason that makes me saddest about the Night Tube beginning is not having something to tell me to go home. That little reminder from the universe to call it a night. 

The tube closures save us all from ill-advised twelfth pints, all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets and Tina Turner performances at karaoke. Checking when the last tube departs is a whole city saying, "Lets go out with a bang." 

And I'll miss sprinting down Oxford Street, secretly glad that I've called it a night.

What do you think?

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