Working nights: why nurses in London deserve a better deal on public transport

Campaign calls for nurses’ out-of-hours commutes to be quicker, cheaper and safer

Campaign calls for nurses’ out-of-hours commutes to be quicker, cheaper and safer

Picture: iStock

Nurses in London working night shifts need better public transport and money-saving 'through' tickets that cover all stages on a single fare, campaigners say.

RCN London and University College London (UCL) researchers have jointly called on Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to address the particular public transport needs of nursing staff working nights in the capital.

The college and UCL today launched a campaign called ‘Who makes London run after dark?' to drum up public support.

Call for investment

RCN London regional director Jude Diggins, said: ‘With nursing staff caring for the vulnerable and often dealing with the darker side of the night scene in London, investment in a 24-hour entertainment culture needs to be matched by increased investment in supporting health and other public workers to be able to afford safe, efficient transport.’

What nurses say

One nurse told the RCN in support of the campaign: ‘I was mugged and beaten on the way home and had to take three months off work.

‘Nursing staff provide care throughout the night, but they need to be appreciated and protected.’

Another nurse, Rumer Gray, who works at a south London trauma centre on a 1am-8am shift told the college her journey home was exhausting and demoralising.

'I am either travelling in the early hours when there are no tubes and I have to rely on infrequent night buses, which can take up to two hours, or during rush hour when I sometimes struggle to even squeeze myself on,’ she said.

Mayor’s working group

The campaigners want a nursing representative to sit on the mayor’s new late-night transport working group.

A spokesperson for the mayor said: 'The working group will ensure they speak to representatives of nursing.'

Nurses will distribute leaflets this weekend to commuters on London's Victoria line telling the stories of nurses who work nights, and detailing their difficulties in getting to and from work.

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