Agencies working to secure the future of the riverbus
The exiting operator – Thames Executive Charters (TEC) – will terminate services from December 23 as it can no longer compete with the larger fleet companies.
Leader of Wandsworth Council Ravi Govindia said: “It’s very important that a new operator is brought in as soon as possible. Many Wandsworth residents rely on the riverbus for their daily commute and it’s a valued part of community life.
“TEC’s business has suffered in recent months as they were unable to compete with the bigger firms and the final straw came when they lost a key bid to serve the new pier in Vauxhall.
“However, demand for a riverbus service is rising in Wandsworth and taking over the route would represent a good piece of business for another operator. With two new passenger piers planned for our stretch of the riverbank thousands more local residents will soon be able to access the service so the longer term prospects are very convincing.
“Talks are now underway and we doing everything we can to ensure a new provider steps in sooner rather than later.”
Richard Tracey, the Mayor’s River Transport Ambassador and GLA Member for Merton and Wandsworth, said:
" We know from various surveys that more and more people now living and working close to the River Thames want good - and regular - river transport as a pleasant daily journey and an alternative to train or bus.
“A lot of work is going on to build the Putney to Westminster services up to the level and standards of those downstream. We shall be seeing much enterprising thinking going on about the increased future use of our part of the river and I am keen to see Wandsworth Council and residents encouraging it."
Improving river transport is a key objective of the council’s Travel Choices campaign. This new initiative aims to bring smarter, faster and greener transport options to the borough like pay-as-you-go bike hire, car clubs and new tube services.
A London-wide investment programme is underway to integrate riverbus services with the oyster card payment system, making it easier and cheaper to commute by boat.
Wandsworth is part of the capital’s River Concordat Group which aims to integrate and develop the capital’s river transport network. It includes riverside councils, boat operators, pier owners, GLA members and Transport for London.
Two new passenger piers are proposed along the Wandsworth riverfront – one adjacent to Plantation Wharf and another at Battersea Power Station.
November 24, 2011