Commuters to swop timetables for tide tables?

Boat operator investigates setting up rush hour services

Brentford's commuters could have a new way of getting to work next spring.

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30% of SWT services arriving late

The operators of the Riverboat Service between Kew Pier and Westminster are looking into the possibility of setting up a service aimed at commuters. At present, services operate in the middle of the day and are aimed at tourists. The success of commuter services in Central and East London have encouraged the operators to see if services departing Kew in the morning rush hour and Westminster in the evening peak could be successful.

"We know that many Londoners think we should use the river more", boat operator Steve Jones told "We're looking to see if operating a service could be practical and cost-effective. If so, then we will talk to Transport for London and look at ways of providing a permanent commuter service."

The operators acknowledge that there are problems providing a regular boat service to Kew. "Low tides can be a problem, although our boats are specially designed to cope with low tide levels - there can be as little as 3 feet of water at Kew at low tide. At high tides it can be impossible to get underneath Hammersmith Bridge".

However it is hoped that journey times of around 1 hour 20 minutes can be scheduled - longer than the train into London, but, on a Spring morning, a far more pleasant start to the working day.

10 Oct 2004

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