New River Bus Piers Planned

In the latest attempt to turn the Thames into an integral part of London’s transport infrastructure, a report by Transport for London has mooted the idea of introducing eleven new river bus piers.

The River Action Plan (PDF) calls for improvements in the information and integration of London’s river bus services. The report’s key recommendations is introducing new stops, including ones at Battersea Power Station, Wapping, the Savoy and an eastward extension of the route to Barking. In total £10m is to be spent over the next seven years.

We’ve been here before, of course. In 2009 Boris Johnson promised a “revolution” in river services, which basically amounted to introducing a Canary Wharf – London Bridge “shuttle” service and bringing Oyster pay-as-you-go on board. It didn’t do much good: last year the London Assembly highlighted failings on the mayor’s pledge to increase annual river journeys to 12 million by 2020 (they’re currently stalled at 6.5 million, including the Thames Clipper, Woolwich Ferry and charter services). Encouraging commuters to trust the river isn’t helped when services are cut or offered at a premium.

Will new stops and better signs encourage commuters to get ship-shape? Possibly, although what would really make a difference would be if Oyster travelcards were to be accepted; users currently get a discount of one third off the standard fare. Doing so would help integrate the river into the transport network, but its a lesson TfL seem loathe to learn, as they’ve employed a similar no-travelcard policy on the cable car which, if reports are to be believed, as attracted a total of 16 regular commuters.

Photo / Alan Habbick

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  • jamie

    Complete River Boats have been building the service from Putney Pier for quite some time. It would be a shame for a business that has put in a fair amount of graft to be sidelined by TFL. They have a loyal following among thier regular passengers by all accounts, not least because of the free toast and coffee on thier commuter services.

  • komalsharma

    Now I have been raise the benefit for travel in the river bus.

    http://www.prlog.org/12063250-wayfair-coupon-code-20-off-any-order.html

  • http://twitter.com/jonnelledge Jonn Elledge

    The idea of extending the service to Barking is nonsense. Because Barking town centre is about two miles from the river.

    • http://londonist.com/ Dean Nicholas

      Clearly they’re just planning for the future, when the Thames bursts its banks and Barking becomes the new Wapping.

  • HHGeek

    It’s about time there was a stop between the City and Docklands. But even more overdue is Travelcard acceptance; I’ve never understood why that wasn’t a requirement from the off.

    • HHGeek

      Also on my wishlist: reverting from “St.Katherine’s Dock” to the historically accurate “St.Katherine Docks”. I’m as guilty as anyone of saying the easier version, but that’s no excuse for TfL and friends!