River Travel from Putney to Blackfriars Shows 130% Increase In Passengers
Journey times now just over 40 minutes as modern catamarans outpace their predecessors
The record year for passenger numbers on the River Thames saw significant growth in both River Bus and River Tours services. The Putney to Blackfriars River Bus service has seen a 130 per cent increase in passenger numbers since its re-launch in April 2013. In response to this increase in passenger demand an additional two morning and three evening sailings have been introduced. Meanwhile River Tours has seen growth of approximately 20 per cent in journeys on the Thames during 2013/14.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:
Garrett Emmerson, TfL’s Surface Chief Operating Officer, said:
To ensure that continued growth in demand is matched by pier capacity, work is being progressed to extend three existing central London piers. Findings from a recent marine engineers’ study has identified viable options for increasing berthing and passenger capacity at three central London piers - Bankside, Embankment and Westminster - by 2015.
A number of new pier infrastructure projects are also progressing well as new riverside developers move forward with their plans. These include new piers at Battersea Power Station and Plantation Wharf, which are due to open later this year. Plans for piers at Convoys Wharf in Deptford, Enderby Wharf in Greenwich and the western side of North Greenwich Peninsula are also underway.
Assembly Member for Wandsworth & Merton, Richard Tracey, pictured on one of the boats, said:
Promotional activity around the river has also increased with passengers benefiting from clearer timetables and a ‘Tube style’ route map providing clearer destination and attraction information. The @TfLRiver twitter feed provides passengers with Real Time River updates through social media, and TfL is working with London and Partners to market the river as part of their international ‘London Story’ campaign.
Building on the last 12 months’ success TfL and the River Concordat are planning on maintaining the momentum gained since the launch of the River Action Plan last year. Efforts to improve integration with the rest of the transport network will continue through the progression of contactless ticketing on river bus services and the introduction of cycle facilities at the minority of piers where these are not already in place. The River Concordat Steering Group will continue to address strategic issues on the River Thames that impact on river passenger services, including boatyard capacity.
The Mayor brought together over 40 organisations to form a River Concordat in 2009 and appointed Richard Tracey AM as the Mayor’s Ambassador for River Transport, charged with boosting its growth. It is an agreement between the Port of London Authority (PLA), boat operators, pier owners, boroughs, TfL and the Greater London Authority that sees all organisations working together to improve passenger services and increase the number of people travelling on the River Thames.