Transport for London has engaged consultants to help assess different operating models for the proposed new ferry between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf.
City Hall and TfL had previously considered building a new walking and cycling bridge in the area but last year ruled out this option on cost grounds and instead put forward the idea of a “more affordable” ferry crossing.
The turn up and go service would use specially designed boats and piers which TfL says “will be as environmentally friendly as practicable” and designed to accommodate passengers with reduced mobility plus adapted cycles and cargo-bikes.
Today it’s provided the first look at what such a service could look like and announced the appointment of consultants Steer Group to help shape plans for it.
Steer will consider different operating models and look at whether the service could be made free to use either by a subsidy or opening it up to commercial sponsorship similar to the capital’s bike hire scheme and cable car.
A second public consultation will be held this summer seeking views on the final design options for the piers, ferries and how the scheme will connect with the local area.
Heidi Alexander, Deputy Mayor for Transport said: “We are absolutely committed to improving cross-river connectivity for cyclists and pedestrians, particularly in east London where there is a pressing need.
“This new rapid ferry service between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf would make it even easier for Londoners to get around the capital by bike or on foot and would bring a boost to businesses in the area.
“It’s exciting to see these plans starting to take shape and I look forward to seeing more detailed proposals later in the year.”
Alexandra Batey, Director of Investment Delivery Planning at TfL added: “Improving connectivity across the Thames is vital to encourage more people to consider walking and cycling to work or for leisure as well as to support the local economy.
“This new clean ferry service would help link new proposed cycle routes in the area and provide a new level of river crossing accessibility. We look forward to sharing the detailed proposals with the public later this summer.”
Mike Goggin, UK Managing Director of Steer Group said: “Steer is delighted to be working on this project in partnership with TfL and with our team of experts to promote improved cross-river walking and cycling accessibility between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf.”