LONDON’S iconic Tube service should be extended to south Essex as part of a 24-hour service to bring the capital’s party-goers to town, a campaigning councillor says,

A day and night Tube service would allow revellers to come to and from Basildon at will, “plugging the gap” between midnight and 4am when c2c do not run.

The prospect of extending the District Line to Basildon has been touted by business chiefs and council bosses, in response to plans in Harlow, which could see the Central Line extended to the Essex town. The District Line on the Tube currently terminates at Upminster.

Kerry Smith, former deputy leader of Basildon Council, believes the line could be extended to the town.

But the idea would impact on business, it is feared. Workers may be more likely leave south Essex for London because of boosted transport links.

David Barnes, chair of the Basildon Business Group, said: “Like Harlow, Basildon is an overflow town for London.

“There’s people who live in the town who work in London. If the Tube service was to be built, and that would require a lot of work, we could see the situation flip.

“But the jobs may not be in Basildon for them, and a slower service than the c2c line may put people off altogether.


“There is potential though for a 24-hour service, which would help people move around socially.

“We need a 24-hour service in south Essex, whether that’s c2c or the Tube.

“If I’m a Londoner out in Southend, I want to be staying as long as possible, and not worrying about getting back earlier than planned.”

Council bosses in Southend prefer extending the new Crossrail service to Southend.

Crossrail will run from Reading and Heathrow, through 42km of new tunnels under London to Shenfield.

Ron Woodley, deputy leader of Southend Council, said: “This (Crossrail extension) has been talked about before, but this, or electric trams whizzing around is a better way forward for south Essex.

“People want comfort on trains, not being rammed in, which is what the Tube is. Bringing Crossrail to Southend is a natural progression, and one that would benefit everyone, including the airport, where it could stop too.”

Mr Smith, councillor for Nethermayne in Basildon, said: “It (the Tube) could stop at Ockendon, Chafford Hundred, and then Basildon, beyond Upminster. It needs a feasibility study to work out the exact ways it would work. The c2c line was rammed before Covid, and we need to do something about it.

“It could work either overground or underground, it would take the pressure off at peak times. It would need Government funding.”