The Anonymous Widower

A Cruise To Barking – 13th May 2022

I noticed earlier in the week, that the Thames Clippers now go all the way to Barking Riverside. So I went today.

Note.

  1. I boarded the boat at the London Bridge City Pier.
  2. The easiest way to get to this pier is to get a 21, 43 or 141 bus from Moorgate or Bank station. to London Bridge and walk along the South Bank of the river for perhaps a hundred metres. Waking from London Bridge station is a bit tricky.
  3. I alighted at Barking Riverside Pier, which will be a short walk to the new Barking Riverside station.

The route is a mixture of historic and modern London and places passed include.

  • HMS Belfast
  • The Tower of London
  • Tower Bridge
  • Canary Wharf
  • Cutty Sark
  • The Royal Naval College, Greenwich
  • The O2
  • The Thames Barrier
  • Wooolwich Arsenal

Many have piers for the Thames Clipper.

The Royal Iris

These pictures show what is left of the former Mersey Ferry, the MV Royal Iris, which is rusting in the River at Woolwich.

I remember the ferry, when it was resplendent in green and yellow in the 1960s. I also remember going on one evening party cruise up and down the Mersey.

It’s rather a sad end for ship that has many happy memories for many.

According to Wikipedia, there is a campaign to return the iconic ferry to Liverpool.

London’s CrossFerry

The Thames Clippers keep on going and now at many times, you can go all the way between Barking Riverside and Putney.

It’s not that slow either and in the open waters East of Tower Bridge, my phone was saying that the ferry was cruising at 40 mph.

If it has one problem, it is that the Thames Clippers don’t have an all-day timetable, that is simple.

If it is going to be a pseudo-train line across London, then there needs to be a two boat per hour service across the city. This will be needed more as more housing is built at Barking Riverside.

I know Barking Riverside will be getting the Overground in the Autumn, but unlike the Thames Clippers, that serve Canary Wharf, the City and Westminster, the Overground will serve a swathe of housing, rather than employment, across North London.

May 13, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Quiet Battery-Powered River Ferries To Serve Battersea Power Station Pier

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Nine Elms.

These two paragraphs give the story and explain the operation of the new boats.

Passengers using Battersea Power Station pier will soon be boarding the UK’s first hybrid high speed passenger ferries using battery power.

Uber Boat by Thames Clippers are building two new vessels which will operate solely on battery power when travelling between Tower and Battersea Power Station piers – and recharge while using biofuelled power when sailing further east and west outside their central London route.

They will join the fleet in the Autumn.

There is also this environmental statement from Thames Clipper.

Uber Boat by Thames Clippers is committed to achieving net zero with all new builds by 2025 and for its wider fleet, infrastructure and environmental footprint by 2040.

That sounds very good to me.

Conclusion

I suspect that this policy will lead to increasing use on London’s river transport system.

I’d also like to see Thames Clipper better integrated with the Overground, Underground and the buses. Some of the walking routes could be improved and have better signage.

I also think, that the Thames Clipper would benefit, if the Freedom Pass could be linked to a credit card, so that Freedom Pass holders would only need to use one card to use all of London’s transport systems.

January 22, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 7 Comments

From Battersea Power Station Station To The River

I took these pictures as I walked from Battersea Power Station station to Battersea Power Station pier to get a Thames Clipper back to London Bridge.

Note.

  1. There appears to be fake smoke coming out of the chimney in the third picture.
  2. I think the second entrance to the station will be close to where I walked.
  3. To my taste there appeared to be a lot of car parking.

The walk took me under ten minutes.

September 22, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 2 Comments

The New And Unusual Way Commuters Will Be Able To Get To Canary Wharf And Central London

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on MyLondon.

The image shows a Thames Clipper at Greenwich Pier.

A new pier for Thames Clippers is to be built at Barking Riverside, close to the new Barking Riverside station.

This will create a whole series of new routes to the East of Canary Wharf, Greenwich and the Thames Barrier.

Conclusion

I think the new pier will also be good for tourists, just as much as commuters.

I shall certainly use it to show visitors, the historic sites of the Thames.

It’s also good to see the Thames Clippers getting integrated with London’s more traditional public transport.

 

July 31, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Short Cruise At Greenwich

I had taken the Emirate air-line to North Greenwich with friends and we decided we needed to go to the Cutty Sark.

So we took one of the Thames Clippers, from where I took these pictures.

About the pictures.

  • The first pictures show Greenwich Power Station, which generates electricity for Transport for London on a standby basis. It must be one of oldest power stations still producing electricity, although nowadays it doesn’t use coal, but six massive gas turbines.
  • The rest of the pictures show the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site.

The trip between the two piers took only a few minutes.

A Tourist Route Between Bank/London Bridge/Tower of London And Maritime Greenwich

I do this route on a sunny day, when I perhaps want to show a guest around London.

  • Take the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) from Bank or Tower Gateway stations to Royal Victoria station.
  • Take the Emirate Air-Line across the Thames to Greenwich. Peninsular
  • North Greenwich isn’t overloaded with attractions, unless you’re seeing a show or event at the O2. But it’s getting better!
  • Take the Thames Clipper one stop to Greenwich. They run every twenty minutes.

If you want to be boring you can always catch the DLR to Cutty Sark station.

A few points.

Docklands Light Railway

The Docklands Light Railway is often thought by Londoners, commuters and visitors as a bit of a Cinderella.

However, like Cinderella she works hard all day and provides reliable and efficient transport, where the only alternatives are buses, bicycles,  taxis and Shank’s pony.

Just after the 2012 Olympics, I met a big cheese in Transport for London on a DLR train. He felt that the DLR had been the star in getting everybody to the games.

It must be one of the most successful light railways in the world!

And yet, no-one has ever thought to build another running on the same principles.

  • Mainly elevated track.
  • Mainly step-free stations
  • Universal step-free train-to-platform access.
  • High-visibility trains for passengers.
  • Trains every three or four minutes.
  • Friendly, interested, visible staff.
  • Driverless operation with a train captain looking after passengers and driving in emergency.
  • Contactless ticketing

Perhaps the lack of a full-time driver on every train, means that many other places would have massive union problems.

Emirates Air-Line

I’ve taken many people on the Emirates Air-Line and few haven’t been impressed.

The best time in my view is just as the sun sets, as these pictures show.

Note that unless you want a souvenir ticket, just use your bank card to touch-in and touch-out! My last one-way trip cost me £3.50 and appeared on my credit card statement labelled TFL TRAVEL CH Conractactless.

Thames Clippers

Since I moved back to London in 2010, the Thames Clippers have been continuously expanding and improving.

  • .Five new boats have been delivered since the Olympics.
  • Several piers have been improved, rebuilt or added in recent years.
  • Cpmtactless ticketing can be used for all services. Payments are labelled THAMES CLIPPERS.

It should be noted that if you are a holder of a London Freedom Pass, you can get a discount on tickets at a machine.

Plans exist for the following.

  • Extending the route to new housing developments at Barking and Thamesmead in the East.
  • A new pier at Silvertown in October 2019, which could have a walking or bus link to the City Airport.

I can also see the following.

  • Extensions to the West past Putney Pier to places like new housing at Brentford and Kew Gardens.
  • Further extensions to the East to support the massive housing developments.
  • Better connections to the London Underground, London Overground and National Rail stations.
  • More use being made of the Thames Barrier as a tourist attraction.
  • Thames Clippers becoming a river tube line.
  • Thames Clippers appearing on the Tube map, just as the Emirate Air-Line does!
  • A quick and easy connection between the City Airport, Canary Wharf and the Cities of London and Westminster being developed.

The last would surely appeal to City businessmen and those wanting to celebrate a special event.

If Venice can run a boat between the Airport, and St. Mark’s Square why can’t London do the equivalet?

Crossrail

Crossrail is the Elephant-in-the-Room, that will surely make its presence felt along the South Bank of the Thames, when it is extended to Ebbsfleet, as it surely will be.

  • There will be a short walking interchange at Woolwich between Crossrail and the Tghames Clippers.
  • If Crossrail build a station at Silvertown for London City Airport, this could be another interchange.
  • If Crossrail eventually terminates at Gravesend, there could even be possibilities that far East.

The possibilities of designing the Crossrail Extension in conjunction with the Thames could open up the river has as both a leisure attraction and a transport artery.

Conclusion

London will reach towards the sea, to further enhance and add space to the undoubted Capital of the World!

 

 

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September 13, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Future Of The Emirates Air Line

I’ve always liked the Emirates Air Line, but I hadn’t used it for some time until today.

As I was in the area, I used it to cross the river, this morning.

I can make these observations.

The Weather Could Have Been Better

The cable-car needs sunny weather, although I did once go across in the snow.

The Cable-Car Wasn’t Busy

Compare today’s pictures wit this one taken in February 2014.

The Cable Car Was Busy

One of the attendants said it was becoming more of a tourist attraction rather than a means of transport.

This meant today, I had a car to myself and didn’t have to share it with several excited kids.

I think too, that the weather was against visitors and tourists now know the best times to use the cable car.

In my view, when the sun is setting is by far the best.

There Are A Lot More Skyscrapers

The last time I rode across was in March 2016, after which I wrote Riding The Cable Car.

There has been a lot of high rise building in the intervening years.

I suspect that as more and more skyscrapers are built, a ride between them all across the river will become more popular.

The Line

The Line is a sculpture trail, that runs from Greenwich to the Olympic Park. The cable-car has to be used by non-swimmers  to cross the river.

The Line is connected OR or close to London’s railways as follows.

  • Stratford – Central Line, Jubilee Line, DLR, London Overground, National Rail and in the future; Crossrail.
  • Stratford High Street – DLR
  • Pudding Mill Lane – DLR
  • Bromley-by-Bow – District and Hammersmith & City Lines
  • Star Lane – DLR
  • Canning Town – Jubilee Line and DLR
  • Royal Victoria – DLR
  • North Greenwich – Jubilee Line

All these connections mean that it can be done in sections.

The Tide

The Tide is an partly elevated five km route, that will be linked to the cable-car, that will be fully-open in two years.

Crossrail

Crossrail will affect all travel in East London and it connects at Stratford stayion to The Line.

I don’t know the route of the Tide, but it may make walking from the O2 to Woolwich sttion for Crossrail much more relaxing.

Although it doesn’t serve Greenwich directly, I believe Crossrail will draw more tourists to the cable-car.

Docklands Light Railway

The DLR is getting new trains in the next few years and an extension to Thamesmead.

As with Crossrail it will draw more tourists to the area and the cable-car.

Thames Clippers

These are expanding and they will bring more tourists to the cable-car.

Conclusion

These and other factors, such as tourists venturing out of the centre of London, will mean that more vistors will explore the East and use the cable-car.

May 11, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Glasgow Looks To Venice With Water Taxi Service To Airport

In Wikipedia, there is a section called Venice of the North. Included in the list of thirty-seven cities are the likes of Ansterdam, Birmingham, Copenhagen, Gdansk, Lubeck, St. Petersburg and Stockholm.

But surely Amiens, Colmar, Manchester, Skipton and various places I’ve never heard of, is taking the list too far!

The title of this post is the same as an article in the Scotsman, about a Glaswegian, who intends to start a water taxi service to Glasgow Airport.

This Google Map shows Glasgow Airport, which has the Black Cart Water to the North and the White Cart Water to the East.

The two waters join to the North of the Airport and then flow into the River Clyde.

This is proposed.

  • The boat terminal at the airport would be on a pontoon on the White Cart Water, about five hundred metres East of the airport.
  • Transfer from the airport to boat would be initially by golf buggy.
  • The trip to the City Centre would take 25 minutes by fast boat.

It’s the sort of plan, that if carried out with style could work very well!

This Google Map shows the River Clyde through Glasgow.

Unlike the Thames through London, it appears to be straight.

The Airport is at the West of the map between the fork of the Black and White Cart Waters.

It was always thought that river buses on the Thames wouldn’t work, but over recent years, the Thames Clippers seem to have made a success of it.

Perhaps someone will make the same concept work in Glasgow.

Conclusion

I wish the guy well and I suspect that in a few years, the Clyde will be an important commuter, tourist and sairport route.

It just needs the right design of boat.

August 20, 2017 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Sailing Down The River

As a child, I enjoyed going for a boat trip on the Thames. I always wanted to go further than just a quick turn at Big Ben, but my mother said it was too expensive. Especially, if you took into accpunt, the cost of going up on the Piccadilly Line and tea in Lyons Corner House.

So this morning, I took the Underground to Putney Bridge station before walking across the river to Putney Pier, where I got a Thames Clipper to Blackfriars.

The reason I did it so early, as this is a trip that is only possible in the morning rush-hour.  Even so my nine o’clock boat wasn’t very full and there were just two of us on the observation deck.

It’s certainly the best time to do the journey if the weather is fine!

 

November 25, 2015 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 1 Comment