Thames Clippers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Thames Clippers
London River Services
Uber Boat by Thames Clippers Logo.svg
LocaleLondon, England
WaterwayRiver Thames
Transit typeRiver bus and tourist/leisure services
OwnerAnschutz Entertainment Group
Began operation24 May 1999; 23 years ago (1999-05-24)
No. of lines5
No. of vessels19
No. of terminals23
Websitewww.thamesclippers.com
Thames Clippers logo, pre-Uber partnership

Thames Clippers (since July 2020 branded as Uber Boat by Thames Clippers for sponsorship purposes with Uber) is a river bus service on the Thames in London, England.

The company operates both commuter services between eastern and Central London and tourist services under licence from London River Services. At present they transport around 10,000 passengers daily on average.

Company[edit]

Sean Collins co-founded Thames Clippers in 1999 with partner Alan Woods as Collins River Enterprises. During his career Sean recognised the opportunity to build a consistent high-speed commuter and passenger river service. Thames Clippers was then taken over in September 2006 by the American Anschutz Entertainment Group,[1] who promised substantial investment into the company to upgrade the services and to provide a more frequent "hop-on-hop-off" between Central London and The O2 (formerly the Millennium Dome), also owned by the Anschutz Entertainment Group. In 2007 the company purchased six new catamarans to be used on the commuter service in order to carry a large number of passengers in a comfortable environment. In 2015 and 2017, a total of four new 'Hunt Class' catamarans were purchased for use primarily on the RB6 Service.[2]

In July 2020, the company announced a partnership with U.S.-based ride-sharing service Uber, which acquired naming rights to the ferry and rebranding the service as Uber Boat by Thames Clippers.[3][4][5][6]

Tickets[edit]

Thames Clippers operate under licence from Transport for London. The river boat service is now better integrated into the tube and bus ticketing network. From November 2009, Thames Clippers services started to accept Oyster pay as you go on all of its services, which also provides a discount on single and return fares. Contactless payment is also accepted.[7]

A River Roamer ticket, valid for one day, is available from Thames Clippers which allows the holder to hop on and hop off along the banks of the Thames between Putney Pier and Woolwich Arsenal Pier (including the Canary Wharf - Rotherhithe Ferry). The cost is £19.90 for an adult and £39.80 for a family. An adult single trip fare changes depending on zones. They range from £4.90 to £13.00 (or £4.50 to £12.00 if payment is made online, in app or with an oyster or contactless card).[8] There is a one third discount for holders of valid travelcards (excluding Family River Roamer tickets and fares for The O2 Express).

Special river service season tickets, valid for either 1 week, 1 month, or 1 year, are also available. Discounts for travelcard holders are also available on season tickets. Carnet tickets are also available via the Thames Clippers tickets app.

Park and Glide tickets are also available which grant access to the car park at The O2, and the River Bus.

Commuter services[edit]

RB1[edit]

During weekday mornings and evenings and throughout the weekend the service runs from Battersea Power Station in the west to Barking Riverside in the east. On weekday daytimes between the peak hours the service is truncated and serves piers between Westminster and North Greenwich. The service runs every 20 minutes during the day, and every 30 minutes in the very early morning and evenings. Stops from west to east:[9]

Hurricane Clipper approaching Greenland Pier with Canary Wharf in the background
Sun Clipper heading upstream just east of Tower Bridge
Hurricane Clipper
Pier Zone Interchanges Service notes
Battersea Power Station Central London Underground Battersea Power Station Weekday between peaks and weekends only
Vauxhall (St George Wharf) Central London Underground National Rail Vauxhall Morning peak eastbound only
Westminster Central London Underground Westminster
Embankment Central London Underground Embankment
London Eye (Waterloo) Central London Underground National Rail Waterloo
Blackfriars Central London Underground National Rail Blackfriars Peak hours only
Bankside Central
London Bridge City Central London Underground National Rail London Bridge
Tower Central London Underground Tower Hill Docklands Light Railway Tower Gateway National Rail Fenchurch Street
Canary Wharf Central/East London Underground Canary Wharf Docklands Light Railway Canary Wharf Elizabeth line Canary Wharf
Greenland (Surrey Quays) East
Masthouse Terrace East Docklands Light Railway Mudchute
Greenwich East Docklands Light Railway Cutty Sark
North Greenwich (The O2) East London Underground North Greenwich
Royal Wharf East Docklands Light Railway West Silvertown Peak hours and weekends only
Woolwich (Royal Arsenal) East Docklands Light Railway National Rail Woolwich Arsenal Elizabeth line Woolwich Peak hours and weekends only
Barking Riverside East Peak hours and weekends only

RB2[edit]

During weekday daytimes (between the morning and evening peaks) the service runs from Battersea Power Station in the west to Greenwich in the east. At weekends the service runs all day between Battersea Power Station and North Greenwich (The O2). Stops from west to east:

Pier Zone Interchanges Service notes
Battersea Power Station Central London Underground Battersea Power Station
Vauxhall (St George Wharf) Central London Underground National Rail Vauxhall
Millbank Central
Westminster Central London Underground Westminster
Embankment Central London Underground Embankment
Bankside Central
London Bridge City Central London Underground National Rail London Bridge
Tower Central London Underground Tower Hill Docklands Light Railway Tower Gateway National Rail Fenchurch Street
Canary Wharf Central/East London Underground Canary Wharf Docklands Light Railway Canary Wharf Elizabeth line Canary Wharf
Greenwich East Docklands Light Railway Cutty Sark
North Greenwich (The O2) East London Underground North Greenwich Weekends only

RB4[edit]

Thames Clippers operates the direct cross river Canary Wharf – Rotherhithe Ferry, between Canary Wharf Pier and the Nelson Dock Pier at the Doubletree Docklands in Rotherhithe. The service uses smaller boats than the commuter service but runs at a higher frequency of every 20 minutes and every 10 minutes during peak times. The ferry can be used by guests of the hotel free of charge as well as by passengers not staying at the hotel at a cost.[10]

Pier Zone Interchanges
Canary Wharf Central/East London Underground Canary Wharf Docklands Light Railway Canary Wharf Elizabeth line Canary Wharf
Nelson Dock (Doubletree Docklands) East

RB6[edit]

This runs peak times Monday to Friday only. Stops are:

Trial service to Gravesend[edit]

In September 2017, Thames Clippers ran a trial commuter service between Gravesend and Central London.[11]

Visitor/tourist services[edit]

Tate to Tate[edit]

The Tate to Tate is a ticketed leisure service between the Tate Modern at Bankside Pier and the Tate Britain at Millbank Pier. Passengers travel on the RB1 service on weekdays and the RB2 at weekends. Tickets can be purchased from the Tate galleries in addition to standard options.[12]

The O2 Express[edit]

The O2 Express is an express service calling at London Eye, Westminster Pier, Embankment Pier, London Bridge City Pier, Tower Pier, Greenwich Pier and North Greenwich Pier for The O2. The service also provides private charters.

Fleet[edit]

Thames Clippers operates 16 high-speed catamarans with a maximum speed of 28 knots (32 mph) , plus a more conventional catamaran for the Hilton ferry.[13][14][15]

Name Length Passengers Type Builder Built Acquired Image
Venus Clipper 38m 222 Hunt Class Mark 3 Wight Shipyard 2018 2019
Jupiter Clipper 35m 172 Hunt Class Mark 2 Wight Shipyard 2017 2017 Jupiter Clipper.jpg
Mercury Clipper 35m 172 Hunt Class Mark 2 Wight Shipyard 2017 2017 Mercury Clipper.jpg
Galaxy Clipper 35m 150 Hunt Class Incat 2015 2015 Galaxy Clipper - MBNA Thames Clippers cropped.jpg
Neptune Clipper 35m 150 Hunt Class Incat 2015 2015 Neptune Clipper.jpg
Aurora Clipper 38m 220 River Runner 200 Mark 2B BSC Marine 2008 2008 Ferries on the River Thames, London - geograph.org.uk - 1773487 cropped.jpg
Meteor Clipper 38m 220 River Runner 200 Mark 2B BSC Marine 2008 2008 London MMB 12 River Thames cropped.jpg
Cyclone Clipper 38m 220 River Runner 200 Mark 2B BSC Marine 2007 2007 Thames Clipper 1 cropped.jpg
Monsoon Clipper 38m 220 River Runner 200 Mark 2B BSC Marine 2007 2007 St Katharine pier 3 cropped.jpg
Tornado Clipper 38m 220 River Runner 200 Mark 2B BSC Marine 2007 2007 Tornado Clipper.jpg
Typhoon Clipper 38m 220 River Runner 200 Mark 2B BSC Marine 2007 2007 Typhoon Clipper 2018-08-19 15.27.17.jpg
Hurricane Clipper 38m 220 River Runner 200 Mark 2 NQEA 2001 2001 Hurricane Clipper 2018-08-19 15.18.49.jpg
Moon Clipper 32m 138 River Runner 150 Mark 3 NQEA 2001 2005 Moon Clipper on the Thames - DSC05392 cropped.jpg
Sun Clipper 32m 138 River Runner 150 Mark 3 NQEA 2001 2005 Thames Clipper 9 9 07 cropped.jpg
Sky Clipper 25m 62 Hydrocat FBM 1992 1999
Star Clipper 25m 62 Hydrocat FBM 1992 1999 London MMB »121 Thames Barrier cropped.jpg
Storm Clipper 25m 62 Hydrocat FBM 1992 1999
Twin Star 19m 125 Former Ford Dagenham ferry ? 1976 2004 Hilton Docklands Nelson Pier cropped.jpg

Accidents[edit]

In February 2004, a woman was killed after she was hit, while waiting for a boat, by a mooring bollard which had come loose from the Star Clipper at St. Katherine's Pier.[16]

On 4 October 2011 at 7 pm, the Moon Clipper hit the Tower Millennium Pier when it was carrying about 50 people. 4 people were injured.[17]

On 5 December 2016 the Typhoon Clipper collided with the workboat Alison, resulting in the sinking of the workboat. The two crew members on the workboat were taken to hospital.[18]

Expansion[edit]

A Policy Exchange report from 2010 advocated significant expansion in river services on the Thames. The aim of the report is to lead to a "river tube line" being created which would lead to easing of current congestion on London's transport systems, and better quality of travel, at a significantly cheaper price than other options. Opponents note that the river capacity, especially at low tide could mean a reduction of tourist boats (especially at peak commuter times), and turn the Thames into an urban highway which would be detrimental to London. To be feasible, the report calls for better management of river traffic, improved interchange with other public transport modes and expansion of key piers.[19]

The Mayor of London is responsible for the River Concordat group,[20] which is made-up of over forty different organisations including Thames Clippers. The publication, By the River,[21] sets out the strategic vision for improving river transport on the Thames.

They plan[when?] to expand further East down the river start with a calling at a Pier in Silvertown in October 2019 and plans in the future to go to Thamesmead and Barking.[22]

In 2017, Thames Clippers and London Resort made a deal for the provision of Clipper services between Central London and the proposed theme park located on the Swanscombe Peninsula in Kent.[23] The Thames Clipper services are also planned to operate between the theme park and a park & ride car park located on the north side of the River Thames in Tilbury Docks. These services are scheduled to start operation when the theme park opens in 2024.[24]

Thames Clipper Boat on the River Thames in new black and white branding
Cyclone Clipper in new Uber Branding

Sponsorship[edit]

The first company to enter a partnership with Thames Clippers was NatWest in 2008. The boats were reliveried in black sponsorship stickers displaying the NatWest and Thames Clippers Logo. KPMG won a three-year sponsorship deal in 2011 and sponsored the clippers during the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.[25] In August 2014, MBNA the bank holding company signed a three-year sponsorship deal with Thames Clippers, and introduced a better ticketing system.[26] In June 2020, American company Uber entered a new partnership with Thames Clippers whereby they won naming rights to the service. As of 2020, the service has been rebranded as "Uber Boat by Thames Clippers".[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Money". Telegraph.co.uk. 16 February 2016. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  2. ^ Capital Clippers, Ships Monthly, March 2016, pp. 42-45
  3. ^ Keane, Jonathan. "Uber Is Setting Sail On The Thames With Its Latest Transport Gambit". Forbes. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  4. ^ "Uber to launch London commuter boat service with Thames Clippers". Msn.com. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  5. ^ Lekach, Sasha (9 July 2020). "Uber Boat takes over London commuter ferry for water rides". Mashable. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  6. ^ "Uber Boat by Thames Clippers". Thamesclippers.com. 8 July 2020. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  7. ^ "News in Canary Wharf | InYourArea". Wharf.co.uk. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  8. ^ Thames Clippers. "Thames Clippers fares". Archived from the original on 23 July 2008. Retrieved 1 April 2008.
  9. ^ "Uber Boat by Thames Clippers : Timetable effective from 19 April 2022" (PDF). Thamesclippers.com. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  10. ^ "Directions to DoubleTree Hotel London Docklands - Hotel and Area Map". 3.hilton.com.
  11. ^ "MBNA Thames Clippers trials boat commute from Gravesend to London". Kentonline.co.uk. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  12. ^ "Tate Boat". Tate.org.uk. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  13. ^ "Our Fleet - Thames Clippers". Thamesclippers.com.
  14. ^ "Our Fleet" (PDF). Thamesclippers.s3.amazonaws.com. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  15. ^ "Meet Our Fleet" (PDF). Thamesclippers.com. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  16. ^ "Woman 'killed by mooring bollard'". BBC News. 18 February 2005. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  17. ^ "Thames riverboat crashes into Tower Millennium Pier". BBC News. 5 October 2011. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  18. ^ "Collision between a passenger vessel and a workboat - News stories". Gov.uk. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  19. ^ "Policy Exchange - Shaping the Policy Agenda" (PDF). Policyexchange.org.uk.
  20. ^ "By the river : Greater London Authority". Archived from the original on 24 March 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  21. ^ "By The River" (PDF). April 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 August 2012. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  22. ^ "How MBNA Thames Clippers wants to roll out river ferry services across east London". InYourArea.co.uk. 29 October 2018. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  23. ^ "Deal struck to provide MBNA Thames Clippers service to £3.2bn London Resort in Swanscombe". GravesendReporter.co.uk. Retrieved 8 August 2020.
  24. ^ "London Resort Company Holdings Team up with MBNA Thames Clippers". SouthParks.co.uk. Retrieved 8 August 2020.
  25. ^ "KPMG sponsors new fleet of Thames Clippers". Londonlovesbusiness.com. 23 September 2011. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
  26. ^ Bold, Ben (21 August 2014). "Credit card firm MBNA signs three-year Thames Clippers deal". Campaignlive.co.uk.
  27. ^ Rob (8 July 2020). "London commuter boats to be renamed Uber Boat under a new sponsorship deal!". Headforpoints.com. Retrieved 15 August 2020.

External links[edit]