London's long-awaited Night Tube service has moved a step closer after union members accepted a pay deal.
The service was initially due to be extended in September but was delayed after drivers rejected new working conditions.
But Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) members have now accepted a deal that will allow plans to be implemented.
The Night Tube will see trains on the Jubilee, Victoria, Central, Northern and Piccadilly lines run all night on Fridays and Saturdays.
The RMT executive announced its backing for the deal last month and its 10,000 members started voting on 11 February.
It included a 2 per cent pay rise in year one, RPI inflation or 1 per cent (whichever is greater) in years two and three, and RPI plus 0.25 per cent or 1 per cent in year four, plus a £500 bonus for staff on lines where the night Tube will run.
RMT said there was an 84 per cent vote in favour of the package after mediation talks brought an end to a series of proposed strikes.
“I want to pay tribute to RMT's members across London Underground who have stood rock solid throughout the long campaign of industrial pressure to secure a fair deal from the company over pay and night Tube operation," Mick Cash, the General Secretary, said.
“Those members have now voted to accept the most recent offer from the company - an offer that was only made after the hard work by union reps in the negotiations backed up by the loyalty, determination and militancy of the workforce right across the Tube network.”
Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London and Conservative MP, has previously championed the plans despite criticism over failure to deliver the promised start date in September.
Business groups have been enthusiastic about the impact on the capital’s night-time economy following estimates that 2,000 permanent jobs could be provided and an extra £360 million generated for the economy.
Members of the drivers' union Aslef are currently voting on the offer and will announce their verdict on Monday, while TSSA and Unite have not yet put the offer to their members.
A spokesperson for TfL told The Independent that no starting date could yet be announced but recruitment and training for 200 new part time drivers was underway.
Steve Griffiths, London Underground’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “I’m pleased that RMT members have voted to accept our offer.
“This is a fair and affordable pay deal, which includes complete protection of employee work/life balance.
“We are seeking agreement with the other unions and continue to focus on the recruitment and training of part-time drivers to deliver the Night Tube for London as quickly as possible.”
Additional reporting by PA
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