LONDON CLIPPER, THAMES FERRY

 

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River Buses have grown from a single boat carrying ‎60 passengers a day, to a network of six routes, carrying over 4.4 million commuters and tourists a year.

 

 

London Clipper claim a fast and frequent services from major piers every 20 minutes, making commuting through London easier for many. These piers include commuter hubs with great transport connections, such as: Canary Wharf, Tower Hill, London Bridge, Embankment, North Greenwich, Battersea Power Station & Waterloo.

You can save money on single journeys with Thames Clippers by touching in and touching out with Oyster or contactless to pay as you go, buying a ticket via their app or buying online. You can save 1/3 off Standard fares with a London Travelcard.

Save up to 71% on your commute with a weekly, monthly or yearly season ticket. A single journey can work out as little as £1.50* a journey with the annual option.

*Based on two journeys across 261 working days of the year, travelling on an East or West Zone Only annual season ticket.

 

The cats are sometimes full to capacity, and occasionally turn away customers, increasing boat size would initially seem to be one way for Thames Clippers to increase ridership. The use of the 62-seater FBM Hydrocats as PIXC busters on RB6 suggest that ridership is growing on that route. The River Runner 220-seaters, however, are the largest practical size for River Buses, due to a number of limiting factors:

* Longer catamarans with more seating would struggle to turn round without massive changes to the propulsion systems.

* Safe evacuation will be an issue requiring more staff and life rafts.

* Some piers can take 4 cats at a time, but large scale rebuilding would be needed for most other piers which have space for only one River Bus.

* Westminster Bridge presents one of the biggest limiting factors for wider catamarans.

 

 

 

 

LRS now has Scheduled Service Planning Guidelines, in which it lays out its criteria for licensing river services. These Guidelines implement what they believe will be healthy and sustainable competition to provide the best benefits to passengers. LRS is tasked with having due regard to the need to provide a return on capital investment and the effects on the sustainability of the network and individual operators.

From a passenger’s point of view, the LRS Guidelines also state that the river boat service network should be:

- Comprehensive – providing service to available piers and recognising the needs of local people and - visitors (including the elderly and people with disabilities)

 

- Frequent – with adequate capacity for seasonal and daily peaks

 

- Simple – easy for passengers to understand and flexible enough to adapt to specific demand patterns

 

- Reliable – aiming to provide even service intervals when frequencies are high and operating to time when they are low.

 

Thames Clippers estimates that the overall River Bus passenger mix is 25-50% tourists.

 

 

 

 

A BIT OF HISTORY 2012 >

 

On 24 May 2012 TfL announced that Thames Clippers would be the new operator of the Putney to Blackfriars route, taking over from Complete Pleasure Boats on 1 April 2013. Under this new licence Thames Clippers increased the Putney to Blackfriars service by two-thirds, using modern, fully accessible catamarans, stopping at the new St George’s Wharf pier in Vauxhall, and provide easy interchange to River Bus services operating east of central London to Woolwich Arsenal. Thames Clippers was awarded the licence for five years with an option for a further period of up to two years.

 

Thames Clippers placed into service two new 150-passenger high-speed catamarans (“cats”) on the growing RB6 Putney – Blackfriars route in November 2015. According to the company, the Hunt Class Galaxy Clipper and Neptune Clipper were the most energy efficient river and harbour fast ferries in the world.

The company and their corporate sponsor MBNA invested £6.5 million in the two boats, which are the first to be added to the River Bus fleet in seven years. These latest boats feature a new hull design that reduces resistance and wash so they operate more efficiently, as well as water jet propulsion instead of propellers which provide greater manoeuvrability at slow speeds. They also trebled peak capacity on the RB6 route between Putney and Blackfriars, which had seen a 40 per cent increase in passengers in the previous 12 months.

On 10 Oct 2016, Thames Clippers announced the order of a further two 170 seat catamarans, at a value of over £6.3m, to add to their fleet. As a feel good story for British shipbuilding, the passenger boats will be built at the Wight Shipyard Co on the Isle of Wight, to enter service in summer 2017. Most of the previous Thames Clippers catamarans were constructed in a couple different shipyards in Australia.

On faster eastern stretches of the river the cats can reach 28knots (52kmh) where the speed limit allows. As the average speed of road traffic in London is somewhere between 6-7kmh, this means that Thames Clippers routes can be time-competitive for some journeys.

 

 

 

 

SHIPS MONTHLY MAY 2017

Following the successful contract to build Red Funnel IoW Ferries’ latest fast ferry, Red Jet 6, which was delivered in July 2016, Wight Shipyard secured a £6.3 million contract in October 2016 for two more fast ferries.

 

The contract was awarded by MBNA Thames Clippers, which provides fast leisure and commuter services on the River Thames.

 

The 35m Mk2 Hunt Class vessels, powered by Scania DSI16 engines and Rolls Royce propulsion, will each have capacity for 175 passengers, an increase from the 150-seat capacity of the two Mk1 Hunt Class craft built for the company by Incat in Tasmania and delivered in 2015.

 

The vessel design was courtesy of One2three Naval Architects. The names Mercury Clipper and Jupiter Clipper were announced for the craft during a media viewing on 26 April.

 

 

 

 

Over 1,100 children entered a competition with Fun Kids radio station and eleven year old Lennon from Scotland was crowned as the winner and together with his family will be joining the MBNA Thames Clippers team in London this summer for the official naming ceremonies.

 

The vessel order saw the creation of 75 new jobs across the Isle of Wight and London, and the involvement of over 100 businesses in the South of England as part of the delivery supply chain, plus, MBNA Thames Clippers has created two new dedicated apprenticeship roles.

 

Mercury Clipper will take to the water from the East Cowes yard in June for trials prior to delivery, with her sister craft following soon after, and both will serve the RB6 Blackfriars-Putney route.

 

Since the foundation of the business in 1999, MBNA Thames Clippers has carried over 34 million passengers on their network of 15 boats.

 

The addition of two new vessels will see this number soar to over 38.5 million by the end of 2017 plus £26 million has been invested by the company into its fleet over the past ten years.

 

 

 

All large craft operating in the crowded central stretch of the Thames are now also required to carry a GPS-based automatic navigation and identification system, which shows their position and the position of all other vessels, continually updated on a display.

 

 

GOING GREENER DECEMBER 2019

 

The first of a 20-vessel fleet has been re-powered for increased operating efficiency and green future-proofing. Thames Clipper provides river services to over 4 million passengers each year from almost every major London pier on the River Thames.

PME Group has secured Thames Clipper as a major new client, re-powering the first of the fleet with MAN engines with the addition of SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction).

SCR is an advanced active emissions control technology system that injects a liquid-reductant agent through a special catalyst into the exhaust stream of a diesel engine. The reductant source is usually automotive-grade urea, otherwise known as Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF). The DEF sets off a chemical reaction that converts nitrogen oxides into nitrogen, water and tiny amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) which is then expelled through the exhaust pipe (explanation from the Diesel Technology Forum).

As the ‘Hurricane Clipper’ is the first vessel on the Thames to be fitted with SCR, the PLA (Port of London Authority) took the opportunity to commission the University of London to conduct emissions tests on the newly fitted MAN D2862 LE427engines. The results of the emission tests are now confirmed; the SCR managed to reach a reduction in NOx in comparison to the standard-fitted Caterpillar of up to 70 %.

It is the first time in its 20-year history that Thames Clipper has used MAN engines; the company announced its strategy for leading the way in the UK with MAN engines and SCR at the Inter-Ferry Conference earlier this year. The MAN engines and SCR were fitted on the successful conclusion of extensive discussions between PME Group and Thames Clipper as to the best options for the company to implement its strategy.

 

 

 

 

COASTAL TOURISM

Coastal Tourism is based on a unique resource combination at the border of land and sea environments: sun, water, beaches, outstanding scenic views, rich biological diversity (birds, whales, corals etc), sea food and good transportation infrastructure. Based on these resources, various profitable services have been developed in many coastal destinations such as well maintained beaches, diving, boat-trips, bird watching tours, restaurants or medical facilities.

 

 

CROSS (ENGLISH) CHANNEL FERRY OPERATORS & ISLAND SERVICES

 

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P&O Ferries -

 

 

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LINKS & REFERENCE

 

https://shipsmonthly.com/news/new-craft-built-at-isle-of-wight-for-thames-clippers/

https://www.londonreconnections.com/2017/londons-first-highway-part-2-surprising-success-river-buses/

https://www.thamesclippers.com/commuters

https://www.seawork.com/news101/exhibitor-news/who-is-the-greenest-of-them-all

 

 

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