The Mayor and Transport for London have announced measures to open three new piers as part of a plan to double passengers on the Thames by 2020.

TfL’s River Action Plan sets out improvements to river services over the next seven years to ensure, they say, that Londoners and visitors make the most of the river and that it reaches its full potential.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “The River Thames played a major part in the success of a momentous 2012 and I am determined to capitalise on these achievements and safeguard the river’s central role in the future achievements of our great city.

“That is why I have set a target to increase passenger journeys on the Thames to 12 million a year by 2020 and to maximise its potential for high quality river travel with the building of new piers and even better facilities.”

Key improvements will include:

  • Opening three new piers, the first at Plantation Wharf in Battersea due to open later this year. Two more at Battersea Power Station and Enderby Wharf have planning permssion;
  • Improving existing pier facilities by transforming the signage, information and ticketing facilities.
  • Ensuring that the river is a fully integrated part of London’s transport network with interchange announcements on all other relevant transport services and improved cycle parking and cycle hire facilities near piers;
  • Working with developers and planners and other stakeholders to maximise opportunities for pier improvements in order to expand and progress the true potential of the river.

The mayor and TfL say passengers will begin to see new improvements on river services as soon as this spring, with real-time arrivals information being unveiled across all existing piers and the new pier at Plantation Wharf opening in the summer.
River passenger numbers have increased by over 25 per cent in the last four years to 6.6 million. By 2031 TfL anticipates there will be an extra 100,000 new homes and 220,000 new jobs close to the Thames creating increased passenger demand for river services.

'Full potential'

Mike Weston, TfL’s Operations Director, said: “This is an exciting chapter for the Thames, with more and more people already using the river to commute to work or for leisure trips. As one of the most attractive ways to travel around the capital, we are fully committed to ensuring that the river reaches its full potential by creating highly visible, attractive piers with services that are easy to find, easy to use and more frequent than ever before.”

Jim Trimmer of the Port of London Authority said: “The PLA welcomes this important new initiative that brings together the different river organisations and operators. It will be a further boost to the continued growth in passenger movements on the Thames.”

Rita Beckwith, Chief Executive Officer for City Cruises said: “City Cruises welcome the publication of the River Action Plan and the importance that is being placed on the river both as a means of transport and a wonderful tourist experience. Partnership working is the only way we can achieve our goals and ensure that our great river continues to sparkle as the jewel in London’s crown.”

Improvements at Tower Pier and Greenwich Pier and the opening of new piers at Imperial Wharf near Chelsea and St George’s Wharf in Vauxhall have already been completed. In addition Oyster Pay As You Go has been introduced on Thames Clipper services for added passenger convenience.

Story dated February 25th 2013


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