Transport for London has unveiled plans to double the number of trips on their Thames river boat network to 20 million by 2035. The plans, announced on 6th November, are aimed to handle this increase in volume in a ‘safe and sustainable’ manner for closer collaboration between Transport for London, the Port of London Authority and boat operators.
It will require an expansion of capacity of boats and piers including building new piers. Existing piers will also be made both more accessible and safer. It is hoped that the expansion of capacity on the river boat network will also alleviate congestion on London’s streets.
The plans include a ‘vision zero’ approach to safety. In practice, this means that the goal is to have no deaths or serious accidents on public transport by 2041. Existing river boats will be replaced with newer cleaner vessels to reduce the network’s carbon footprint in accordance with another mayoral goal of an entirely clean city by 2050.
“The Thames was integral to London’s origins and will play a key role in its future.” said Gareth Powell, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, adding, “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”.