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TfL work on river services 'half hearted'

London’s river services need attention if London mayor Boris Johnson is to realise his ambition to see passenger journeys on the Thames hit 12M a year.

The London Assembly Transport Committee’s report said growth is being hampered by the absence of a clear improvement plan, poorly maintained piers, and unintegrated mapping and ticketing.

Committee chairman Caroline Pidgeon AM described work on the river so far as “half hearted”. She added: “If Transport for London were to direct the same attention and energy at river services that it’s lavished on the cycle hire scheme it could turn the tide.

“While there have been some developments and passenger numbers have grown, it’s frustrating that progress is so slow on expanding a service that has so much potential – particularly for the 2012 Games. Our last report described the Thames as London’s forgotten highway and unfortunately in many ways it still is.”

The report calls for improvements across four main areas

  • Develop a Transport for London (TfL) owned strategic plan for the development of river services
  • TfL should demonstrate greater commitment to river services, including appointing a specific representative to its board
  • Further improvements to piers
  • Better publicity, signage, mapping and ticketing to attract more passengers

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