Thames Clippers to Take Over River Bus Service

Company promise faster and more frequent services to Blackfriars

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River Bus services from Chelsea Harbour will more than double from April 2, following the appointment of KPMG Thames Clippers as the new operator of the Putney to Blackfriars route.

The company say they are "delighted" to have won the five year contract, and will offer faster journey times and more frequent River Bus services offering two thirds more services on weekdays on modern, fully accessible, high speed catamarans.

The new contract secures the service, which is used by hundreds of Londoners every weekday

Real time boat arrival information called iBoat will shortly be rolled out at the piers on this section of the river, making travelling even more convenient. Real time arrival information will also be available via a number of mobile phone apps meaning customers will be able to time their arrival at the pier in perfect time to catch the next River Bus service.

KPMG Thames Clippers will also bring Oyster to the route, meaning passengers can use Pay as You Go to pay for their fares. There will also be a reduced fare for passengers with Travelcards. For regular passengers there is a range of competitive season tickets available on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis.

In order to make the route fully accessible, essential improvement work is to be carried out on a number of piers on the route.

Andy Thompson, Head of London River Services, says:
" KPMG Thames Clippers are a well established operator of River Bus services so they bring with them a wealth of knowledge and understanding. The enhanced and faster services will benefit the many hundreds of passengers who use this route every day. With improved integration with other River Bus services I am sure more people than ever will make the most of what the river has to offer."

Richard Tracey, Assembly Member for Putney and the Mayor's River Ambassador says: " This is the announcement which many people along the riverside have been waiting for. From my conversations and from emails I have received over the past few years, there appears to be a whole now cohort of river commuters and leisure travellers waiting to climb aboard the boats. With the promised new pier at Plantation Wharf, close by Wandsworth Bridge and Battersea Square, the prospects will be completed."

Here is the amended timetable:

River Bus Service from Putney to Blackfriars

However, the news has come as a blow to Complete Pleasure Boats, who have run the Putney /Blackfriars river commuter route for the last seven years using wo boats, the Henley and the Viscount.

Owner of CPB, Captain Ed Langley says: "This is a very sad day for CPB. We have worked hard to develop the Putney /Blackfriars commuter route over the last seven years from scratch . In fact I launched the route with the Henley in the wake of the 7/7 bombings to provide a safe and reliable commuter service from Putney to Blackfriars.

" We carried one passenger on the first day and now we regularly carry over 70 passengers on the 0730 service which is a terrific achievement for a small company like CPB . We have created both substantial goodwill and very loyal commuters by providing a fantastic service (including free tea and coffee and toast) which sadly others will now be able to build on.

"I think it is important that this achievement is recognized.

" In addition I have environmental concerns. The Henley may be the oldest boat on the river on daily service (she was built in 1896 for the Thames ) but remains one of the most environmentally friendly boats on the river and has low wash. I am concerned to see whether the new service by Clippers will meet the requirements of both the environmental lobby and the rowing fraternity.

" I know from our commuters that we have created a 'way of life' for many people and not just a journey to work and this decision, I suspect, will be a blow to many in spite of the increased frequency of the service - and of course to our hard working and loyal crews most of whom have worked on the river for many years.

" I would like to take this opportunity of thanking our commuters for their loyal and enthusiastic custom over the years. In light of this decision CPB will now consider its options and is keen to continue to provide regular services on the Thames with its boats - in whatever way may be possible and taking into account the Mayor’s wish to increase river traffic on the Thames which we endorse wholeheartedly.

" For example, if at all possible we would be very happy to continue to run alongside Clippers if our commuters would like us to do so."


March 11, 2013

March 12, 2013