Plans to double Thames passenger journeys

Published: Tuesday 26th February 13

Wandsworth Council has welcomed a new commitment from the Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) to double the number of passengers using riverbus services by 2020.

Boris Johnson and TfL have today unveiled a new 'River Action Plan' which sets out £10mn of service upgrades.

The council has long been calling for new investment in Thames transport and has approved plans for two new passenger piers along the Wandsworth riverside - one at Plantation Wharf , another at Battersea Power Station.

These proposals would mean thousands more local people would have easy access to riverbus services and the Plantation Wharf pier could be built this year.

Wandsworth Council's transport spokesman Cllr Russell King said:

"We have long argued that the Thames is an underused asset and could carry millions more passenger journeys with the right level of investment. Today's announcement is an important step in the right direction.

"This council has approved planning applications for two new piers in Wandsworth which would open up the service to more riverside communities. We will continue to work with the developers of see that these schemes are brought forward as soon as possible.

"We are also anticipating that a new boat operator will soon be appointed to run the Putney to Blackfriars service. This could mean a much more frequent timetable and faster journey times into Zone One."

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 delivered through the River Action Plan include:

  • Opening three new piers - Plantation Wharf , Battersea Power Station and Enderby Wharf
  • Improving existing pier facilities by transforming the signage, information and ticketing facilities, rolling-out iBoat real-time arrivals information and introducing the new contactless 'Wave and Pay' ticketing on river services
  • 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

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.

Significant progress in boosting river passenger journeys has already been made since the Mayor brought together over 40 organisations including boat operators, Wandsworth Council, pier owners and TfL to form a River Concordat in 2009.

Major 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.

Fine out more about the council's transport development plans at


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Recent comments

Having been a regular user of the 7.30 and 8.0 Putney to Blackfriars ferry service, which has been very reliable, I feel that insufficient ccredit is being given to the current operators of the Henley and the Viscount. Why is a new boat operator being considered? What are the cost implications for the commuters? It seems to me that the commuters appreciate the character of these lovely old boats and I for one would be less likely to use a 'closed in' fast ferry service. John Williams
Joh Bate-Williams

1 March 2013

The Plantation Wharf pier has been talked about for years but nothing seems to happen - it would be very useful and quicker than using York Road most mornings and evenings.
Martin Lee

1 March 2013

An integrated transport system benefits from a fully-integrated ticketing system. Provide the opportunity to combine rail and river travel in a TFL Travelcard (just like the Rail/tube travelcard). Pay-as-you-go discounts for rail/tube Travelcard holders are not enough of an incentive.
Stephen Ryder-Smith

1 March 2013

An integrated transport system requires that river transport connects with buses. You may not have noticed but buses e go over the Thames bridges whichu is where people are. We don't go to hounslow town to fly out of health row. Build a pier at Battersea bridge please
Donald Napier

1 March 2013