Transport for London (TfL) have admitted that there is no new launch date for the long-awaited Night Tube as a dispute between London Underground and the unions continues.
A spokeswoman for TfL confirmed to IBTimes UK that a fresh roll-out date had not been decided after the 24-hour weekend service was originally pushed back from 12 September to autumn 2015.
The latest target date was missed due to a row over pay and work conditions between the unions (the RMT, TSSA, Aslef and Unite) and Underground bosses. Steve Griffiths, the chief operating officer of LU, said: "We are continuing to work with the unions to reach an agreement that is affordable, sustainable and fair. Our objective remains to reach an agreement that ends this dispute and delivers the Night Tube for Londoners."
But Finn Brennan, an organiser at tube drivers' union Aslef, warned that millions of London commuters could face travel disruption in the future because of the dispute. "I am due to report to our Executive Committee in the second week of January," he told IBTimes UK. "If no progress is being made, it's likely they will consider more industrial action."
A spokesman for the RMT, which represents workers and drivers on the Underground, said talks were "ongoing" between the parties. TfL have previously claimed that the Night Tube will boost the economy by £360m ($531m) and support almost 2,000 permanent jobs.
The service is designed to run on the Central, Northern, Piccadilly and Jubilee and Victoria lines. A new March launch date has been previously rumoured but a union source told IBTimes UK that the service may "wither on the vine" because of an alleged lack of appetite.
The deal would see Night Tube workers given:
- Year 1 - averaged 2% salary rise;
- Year 2 - either Retail Price Index (RPI)-linked hikes or a 1% salary rise (whichever is higher);
- Year 3 - either RPI-linked hikes or a 1% salary rise (whichever is higher); and
- Year 4 - RPI inflation-linked pay hike plus 0.25%.
A one-off £500 bonus for all staff on the new service was still in play, but the fresh offer saw bosses withdraw a £200 bonus per Night Tube shift for drivers.