TfL publishes strategy to improve River Thames services


Transport for London (TfL) has revealed it intends to double the number of trips on the Thames to 20 million by 2035 in order to make the river an integral part of the city’s transport network again.

The Passenger Pier Strategy sets out how TfL, the Port of London Authority (PLA) and boat operators and other stakeholders can work together to improve the network of piers and river services.

The strategy also supports the Mayor Sadiq Khan’s aim of 80% of all trips in London to be made on foot, bike or by public transport to help significantly reduce traffic congestion on London’s streets.

It adopts a vision zero approach to safety, and encourages commuting, leisure and tourism while better utilising piers and river services. It also proposes river services that are better integrated with other transport, accessible, easy to use, sustainable and low emission, with a focus on customer experience.

Gareth Powell, managing director of surface transport at TfL, said: “The Thames was integral to London’s origins and will play a key role in its future. Our strategy establishes a clear way forward for everyone involved in river transport to get more Londoners out of their cars and to travel on the river in safe, sustainable and easy to use ways, freeing up capacity on other types of public transport and helping to clean up our toxic air.”

The strategy proposes that improvements to river services will be achieved through the delivery of more privately funded, developer-led piers served by extended river bus services, which will make the river a key transport option in east London and support new homes, jobs and growth.

As part of its plans to improve safety on the Thames, TfL will embed safety requirements in the licensing process of London’s passenger piers.