Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Compared with 24-hour cities such as New York and Berlin, London shuts up shop early. The

  • reasons go back a long way. London has a history of mass commuting; many workers preferred

  • to meet friends for happy hour drinks than party into the wee hours. Britain’s old

  • licensing laws meant that most drinking dens closed at around 11pm, and the tube stops

  • running shortly after midnight. Getting home late at night is expensive or time consuming.

  • And for years, London’s population was in steady decline.

  • But times are changing. These days nocturnal Londoners can go to a fancy restaurant, work

  • out at a gym and even get a haircut all through the night. Liberal licensing regulations arrived

  • a decade ago, making it easier for people to indulge in late-night drinking. Between

  • 1999 and 2013 the number of night-bus routes doubled, and the annual number of passengers

  • more than tripled. And from next September, the London Underground is set to run through

  • the night at weekends.

  • So, why is this happening? Demography is a factor. Since 1991 the number of young people

  • in Londonthose most likely to demand late-night optionshas risen faster than any other

  • group. Foreigners used to late-night merrymaking make up a greater proportion of London’s

  • residents. And an increasing share of the workforce do nightshifts; half of all night-bus

  • passengers are travelling to or from work.

  • The demand for a late-night London is growing, and businesses and legislators are responding

  • to it. With infrastructure planned to make a 24-hour London possible, why would Londoners

  • ever sleep?

Compared with 24-hour cities such as New York and Berlin, London shuts up shop early. The

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 UK london late night licensing hour demand bus

Why London took so long to become a 24-hour city

  • 1287 69
    Una Chuang posted on 2015/06/01
Video vocabulary