The Evening Standard reports that Mayor Johnson has now officially dropped his commitment to running the Tube later on Fridays and weekends, citing the ongoing upgrade works and union difficulties:
“We are going through a laborious process of upgrading the Tube and it isn’t possible to do it at the moment,” [The Mayor] said.
“It is very difficult to deliver it now when we are in the middle of incredibly important upgrades of the Tube. I think that that most people would want to see the improvements in capacity delivered first. The previous mayor [Ken Livingstone] got into this particular mayor’s nest, made that promise and found that it invoked all sorts of union difficulties and they got very stroppy.
“But as long as we have two huge upheavals and difficulties we have with the union then it is difficult for me to promise that I can deliver this.”
This is perhaps unsurprising news, with many assuming this was the situation for some time, but it does appear to be the first public acknowledgement of that fact.
As the Mayor comments, his predecessor Ken Livingstone was also unable to deliver on a similar promise (largely due to problems with two of the biggest unions on the network). Possibly, however, that should have flagged up warning signs to his successor that it was unlikely to prove the easiest of tasks.