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Cross-London ferry service to come to Newham later this year

PUBLISHED: 14:12 10 January 2019 | UPDATED: 17:19 10 January 2019

The ferry will berth at a pontoon floating off the main pier and will have furniture, displays and a metal shelter. Picture: Nex.

The ferry will berth at a pontoon floating off the main pier and will have furniture, displays and a metal shelter. Picture: Nex.

Nex

Work has begun on a 130 metre ferry pier just south of City Airport as part of a £3.5 billion regeneration area. It is expected to be completed in late 2019.

Work has begun on a 130 metre ferry pier just south of City Airport as part of a £3.5 billion regeneration area.

The unusual shape of the structure (the architects calling it ‘the most distinctive pier on the Thames’) includes a 162 square metre observation platform to allow it to double as a public space as well as a point to access London’s waterways.

Ferries will dock onto a pontoon off of the main structure and will have furniture, displays and a metal shell to provide shelter.

Alan Dempsey, director of Nex, the firm that designed the pier, said: “We saw an opportunity to combine new transport infrastructure with a distinctive new public space for London floating over the Thames.

“The pier provides both residents of Royal Wharf and visitors with new access to the city, while also offering places to gather, sit and enjoy the remarkable views of the Millennium Park, Thames Barrier and Canary Wharf.”

Nex was commissioned for the project after a competition in 2016. The structure will replace the jetty currently at the location.

It is the firm’s first major infrastructure project (the rest being buildings) and will replace the current jetty at the docks.

The pier will be serviced by MBNA Thames Clippers. In 2017, 4.1 million passengers used the company’s Thames routes, which are serviced by 18 boats.

Sean Collins, chief executive officer at MBNA Thames Clippers, said: “This is a significant milestone in our company’s network of piers across its 25km route, with Royal Wharf currently being our furthest pier east on the north bank of the Thames.”

The most recent ferry pier was opened at Battersea Power Station in November 2017, bringing the total number of stops to 22.

The pier comes part of the wider Royal Wharf development, a joint venture between Ballymore and Oxley. The project is to provide 3,385 homes.

Ballymore group managing director John Mulryan said: “Non-road travel is an essential part of the sustainability and growth of London’s commuter network, and this pier will soon be a part of that.”

It is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

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