Plaque marks donation of the wharf by Courage & Co to people of Windsor

Plans for a new passenger boat service which involve a pontoon close to Windsor Bridge have caused controversy.

The plan by Thames Executive Charters is currently being considered by the local authority, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

Objections have been lodged by the Environment Agency, the River Thames Society and the Thames River Users Group, by the council’s own leisure department and by individual boaters.

The application is for a 30 metre pontoon at the town’s Jennings Wharf upstream from the bridge and only a few hundred yards from Windsor Castle. A plaque on the wharf marks its donation by Courage & Co to the people of the town.

Objectors cite river safety, loss of moorings and towpath congestion as some of the reasons the application should be turned down.

Thames Executive Charters was not available for comment. But in its application it states the new service would be between Windsor and Maidenhead operating on a hop on/hop off basis with up to 18 request stops along the Thames Path.

One of the objectors, Chris French of French Brothers, who operate passenger services nearby, said: “We are not afraid of healthy competition and in the past have co-operated with other operators.

“But we do not think this plan is good for the boating public or for the community. It means a loss of public moorings and is very close to the bridge raising very real concerns about safety.

“We ourselves have a robust risk assessment in place and a safety plan for adverse river conditions.This is a very busy stretch of the river and – as illustrated when a Dutch barge collided with the bridge – a boat can easily get into difficulties.

“If it goes ahead it will have a detrimental effect on the community. We depend on busy days to enable us to keep services going throughout the year.

“If anyone comes in to cherry pick services this will threaten employment, our ability to offer jobs and apprenticeships.”

The application can be viewed on the council's website HERE

Story dated June 21st 2013



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