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How proposed piers could provide key transport links

PUBLISHED: 10:00 09 November 2019

The new Royal Wharf pier. Picture: James Brittain

The new Royal Wharf pier. Picture: James Brittain

©James Brittain Photography

New piers at some of east London's biggest developments could provide vital public transport links along the Thames.

The new Royal Wharf pier. Picture: James BrittainThe new Royal Wharf pier. Picture: James Brittain

That's according to Transport for London's draft passenger pier strategy, which has highlighted ways to increase the number of river trips - for commuting, leisure and tourism purposes - to 20 million a year by 2035.

The plan's publication coincides with the launch of the Royal Wharf pier - part of a development that will be home to around 10,000 people when complete.

The Royal Docks site will boast 3,385 new homes as well as a primary school and health centre, with Sean Mulryan, chairman of developers Ballymore, calling it "in essence, a new town".

Designed to resemble a traditional British seaside pier, the riverboat terminal doubles up as a public space.

The new Royal Wharf pier. Picture: James BrittainThe new Royal Wharf pier. Picture: James Brittain

Sean Collins, CEO of riverboat service Thames Clippers, said the new pier would be "will be of real benefit to the four million passengers who use our services each year".

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He added: "We're committed to continuing the eastward development of our service and our ongoing investment in London's river travel infrastructure."

And going east is indeed what the TfL document proposes. Currently going no further than Woolwich, on the south side of the river, there are plans to expand the route further down the river.

The new Royal Wharf pier. Picture: James BrittainThe new Royal Wharf pier. Picture: James Brittain

Two of these are also on the south side of the river, in Thamesmead and Erith, with a third being part of the Barking Riverside development where more than 10,000 homes are being built.

There is also a proposal for a new pier, New Providence Wharf, on the Isle of Dogs.

The draft strategy explains: "Much of London's future residential growth will take place along the Thames in east London with an estimated potential for 350,000 new homes and 370,000 jobs to be created across inner and outer east London and the Isle of Dogs over the next 25 years.

"River services can become a principal public transport mode to serve these developments, like Barking Riverside, supporting the aim of achieving a shift away from car travel."

The new Royal Wharf pier. Picture: James BrittainThe new Royal Wharf pier. Picture: James Brittain

It adds: "[There are] a number of developments along the Thames which support the aims of this strategy, including new piers expected at Royal 
Wharf, Ordnance Wharf, 
Barking Riverside and Canary Wharf."

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