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Passengers share their thoughts on the new-look ferries

PUBLISHED: 10:12 19 February 2019 | UPDATED: 11:18 19 February 2019

One of the new Woolwich Ferries. Picture: Awil Mohamoud

One of the new Woolwich Ferries. Picture: Awil Mohamoud

Archant

After months of waiting and several delays, the Woolwich Ferry service is back in operation with two brand new boats.

The seating area on the new ferries. Picture: Awil MohamoudThe seating area on the new ferries. Picture: Awil Mohamoud

The previous fleet, which had been in use for 55 years, was decommissioned in October.

The new boats produce fewer emissions, are more fuel efficient, are less noisy and provide more space for passengers.

But what did passengers riding on the new ferries for the first time think of the experience?

Aliyu Yeldu, 49, from Beckton, has been using the free service on and off for around five years.

He said: “It’s a lot easier to come in and to feel comfortable. You feel like you’re at home when you’re sitting here – you’re relaxed. With the other one, you were just eager to get to the other side.

“The seats are well arranged. The old one wasn’t well furnished – there were benches and the floor was made of steel.”

Aliyu also said that the old boats lacked proper insulation and had no heating, making for very cold and windy journeys – something that has now been addressed.

One issue for the new service, however, has been reliability. Technical issues at the ferry terminals have caused closures and delays.

Brian Hunt, 60, from East Ham, decided to use the ferry because he was curious to see if it was working.

He said: “It’s very slow, it’s quicker to actually walk through the tunnel.”

Transport for London had previously confirmed that a limited service would be in operation for the first few weeks, with the frequency gradually increased.

Yithzak Montano, 23, from North Woolwich, was also unimpressed by the speed of service. “On the announcement, they said there’s a limited service, but it should be a lot quicker than this”, he said.

However, he still thinks taking the ferry is the best option for travelling across the river.

“The tunnel is very dark, it’s musty, it’s not friendly at all. This is definitely a better alternative,” he said.

Agnes Adenaike, 42, from Newham, has been using the service for roughly two years.

She said: “I usually come in with a pram. The older one had stairs, so I used to have to ask people to help me out. With the new one, you just come in through the main door.

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