Thames Clippers is set to table a rival bid to the proposed Rotherhithe crossing, New Civil Engineer can reveal.
It is understood that Thames Clippers will table its detailed proposal for a ferry shuttle service between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf later this month.
Working with Beckett Rankine, the ferry scheme will be put before Transport for London (TfL) bosses before a second public consultation is held on Atkins’ bridge concept this autumn.
Estimated to cost a tenth of the £300M to £400M valuation of the bridge, the proposed service would involve a fleet of three ferries which can be boarded from either end.
Departing every two or three minutes in a “tube-style” service, each ferry can carry 150 passengers including 50 cyclists and 100 pedestrians.
At peak times the ferry service would be able to cater for 1,800 people per hour – the estimated maximum number of people who would use the crossing. At non-peak times the shuttle service would reduce to one or two ferries.
As part of the scheme, two berths will be built at Nelson Dock on the Rotherhithe side of the river, while one berth will be created in Canary Wharf with the option to build a second later down the line if demand increases.
While docked at the berths the electric-powered vessels will charge. Each journey expected to take two to three minutes.
Backers of the scheme claim that it is more cost-effective and less likely to be interrupted by passing ships than the bridge proposal.
Dispruption to the ferry service caused by passing ships is expected to be less than that caused by the bridge having to open and close.
If given the go-ahead, the ferry service is expected to take 18 months to two years to come into service.
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