As new operator KPMG Thames Clippers guarantees five more years
River Bus services from Wandsworth will more than double from October, as Transport for London appoints KPMG Thames Clippers to be the new operator of the Putney to Blackfriars route from October 1st.
Thames Clippers will provide a significantly enhanced River Bus service with two thirds more services on weekdays on modern, fully accessible, high speed catamarans.
The new contract guarantees the service, which is used by hundreds of Londoners every weekday, for another five years, and is the result of close collaboration between the Mayor’s office, TfL and Wandsworth Council.
Wandsworth Council has approved a budget of £33,000 to support riverbus services and, in partnership with KPMG Thames Clippers, future plans include making vital improvements to a number of piers, which will ensure all the services are fully accessible.
The council's cabinet member for transport, Councillor Russell King, said: "This news represents another big step forward for Wandsworth's Travel Choices campaign, which is all about giving making Wandsworth a better connected place with more transport options. I am sure the improvements to the riverbus service will be warmly welcomed by those of our residents who already use it - and for those that don't this is the perfect time to try an alternative mode of transport to get around the capital.
"The Putney to Blackfriars service is currently used for about 15,000 journeys per year but this could rise significantly with continued investment and support - helping take the pressure off our roads, buses, trains and tubes."
Local Assembly Member Richard Tracey, who has recently been reappointed as River Ambassador by Mayor Johnson told Wandsworthsw18.com:"The expansion of the Thames Clipper service upstream to Putney is a great victory for everyone who’s been pushing for a boost to river transport west of central London, so I am delighted that it is finally here. I have been of the opinion for many years that the Thames offers great potential to be used as an integral part of London’s transport system. Today’s announcement of a near trebling in high-speed catamaran services to Putney opens up the option of river travel to many, many more people.
“Furthermore, this announcement comes hard on the heels of Boris’s opening last autumn of the new Clipper pier at Vauxhall. This October will see the start of the new service, so that within about one year clipper services have extended from Westminster all the way to Putney – and that must be seen as progress in anyone’s book.”
Leader of Wandsworth Council, Councillor Ravi Govindia, added: "Having more services everyday and greater choice where to board and depart will enable residents to experience better integration with the wider transport network across London. One of the key aims in our Travel Choices campaign is to reduce people's reliance on cars by making alternative ways to travel more appealing and convenient - and I believe this is an exciting step forward in achieving that goal."
Peter Hendy CBE, Commissioner for Transport for London said: "KPMG Thames Clippers bring with them a wealth of knowledge and understanding of operating riverbus services on the River Thames, which will benefit the many hundred who will use their services every day. With improved integration with other riverbus services, I am sure more people than ever will make the most of what the river has to offer."
Riverbus passengers will benefit for the first time from being able to pay from their Oyster pay as you go balance, and there will be discounts for Travelcard holders. For regular passengers season tickets are available on a weekly, monthly, half yearly and yearly basis.
May 25, 2012