Rowers Opposing Plans for New Putney Pier

Say Thames Clippers' plans would render embankment unusable

The current pier at Putney
The current pier at Putney. Picture: George Rex



Over 1,000 Sign Petition for Weekend River Boat Service

Planned Fulham Pier Could Threaten Boat Race's Future Claims MP

Sign up for our weekly Putney newsletter

Comment on this story on the

There is growing opposition from local rowers to a proposal for a new pier in Putney which would cater to larger commuter ferries.

Uber Boat by Thames Clipper want to upgrade the existing facilities by Putney Embankment to increase the capacity of its services. Calls have been made from local users of the services for greater regularity and the schedule to be extended to the weekends.

However, some users of the nearby boathouses say that the plan could make it impossible for rowing activities to continue particularly for young and novice rowers. A number of schools operate from the site including Westminster, King’s College Wimbledon and Dulwich and it is the home of the Thames Rowing club which has been at this location since 1860.

The proposed pier would be near the starting point of the University Boat Race and is also used for a number of regattas throughout the year. It would be sited next to the existing pier just west of Putney Bridge.

An article in The Times quotes Erin Kennedy, the Paralympian gold medallist, writing in objection to the proposal, “It would seriously impact all social rowing on the Tideway, including the boat races and all domestic regattas. It cannot be allowed to proceed.”

Mark Davies, chairman of British Rowing, the sport’s national governing body, said the pier and Uber Boat service would make it difficult to launch and land boats adding that the proposed pier “renders that bit of water useless to rowers, or at least dangerous to rowers”.

He continued, “This is the most active rowing course for racing . . . for 150 years plus.

“[The pier] puts the whole thing under threat. Unless you are a very experienced river user, I can see that there is an accident waiting to happen, and that means the 15 boathouses on that section are not going to be able to attract new people.

“I do not see how those boathouses are viable if this goes ahead.”

Guy Pooley, an Olympic rower and head of rowing at Eton College, also objected to the proposal, saying, “The position of this new pier and the consequent activity around it will adversely affect the ability of the local rowing clubs to operate safely in that area.”

The Putney Society has backed the proposed pier if it led to improved river bus services.

Uber Boats by Thames Clipper has given details of its safety record in a document submitted with the application in which it says that it has operated 4,680 boat trips a year since 2013 without an accident.

There were similar objections to its earlier proposal for a new pier outside Fulham Football club which Putney’s MP Fleur Anderson said could endanger the future of the University Boat Race on the Thames.

Uber Boat by Thames Clipper has been asked for comment.

The planning application will be considered by Wandsworth Council.

Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More

This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.

Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.

We've always done that and won't be changing, in fact we'd like to do more.

However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.

We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.

A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.

One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.

If you do support us in this way we'd be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.

For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you'd like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.


August 26, 2022