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Posted: 11 Nov 2015

Plantation Wharf Pier opens

MBNA Thames Clippers’ new commuter boat, Galaxy, enters service as Plantation Wharf Pier opens, the 20th pier on their routes

  • New pier opens at Plantation Wharf, Battersea, to meet growth in passenger demand
  • Galaxy Clipper and Neptune Clipper, two new boats representing a £6.5m investment in the MBNA Thames Clippers fleet go into service

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A new state-of-the-art pier opened today to help commuters using a key MBNA Thames Clippers route operated for Transport for London (TfL).

Plantation Wharf, on the Thames at Battersea, provides a much-need extra stopping point on the RB6 route between Blackfriars and Putney. It’s the 20th pier on the route.

The £2.8 million structure, built and owned by Plantation Wharf Pier LLP, will offer Battersea residents a vital river link, and access to MBNA Thames Clippers’ two new high-speed boats now entering service.

The 150-passenger, 35metre long ultra-high specification twin catamarans – Galaxy Clipper and Neptune Clipper – will add extra capacity to the popular RB6 route which has already seen a 40% increase in passenger journeys in the last 12 months. They will also provide extra capacity on other routes during periods of high demand.

Sean Collins, CEO and Co-founder, MBNA Thames Clippers comments:

“The opening of Plantation Wharf, in addition to the two new boats, is a moment of immense pride for us at MBNA Thames Clippers. These are exciting times for us and this significant investment into our service between Putney and central London and into London’s river travel infrastructure as a whole is one we plan to continue to grow.”

TfL recently installed pay as you go Oyster readers across all piers served by MBNA Thames Clippers river bus services, improving the experience for regular customers and visitors. In the summer of 2016, TfL will add the delivery of contactless payment for the river bus service.

Richard Tracey, Mayor's River Ambassador and Assembly Member for Wandsworth, added:

"This is a most exciting further advance for the western section of the river including many more people in Battersea. I am so pleased with what we have achieved jointly over the Boris Johnson Mayoralty."

Councillor Jonathan Cook, transport spokesman for Wandsworth Council, said: “It’s fantastic to see Wandsworth’s third passenger pier open for business. It won’t be too long before more are built giving even more of our residents access to MBNA Thames Clippers’ superb commuter service.”

Jane Ellison MP for Battersea said, “Local residents have really been looking forward to this new pier opening and I know it will be a real boon to Battersea commuters. The river is important to this constituency and it’s great that more people will have the opportunity to use MBNA Thames Clippers to make the most of it.”

TfL’s General Manager for River Services, Andy Thompson, said, “The new pier is a great addition to the RB6 route which MBNA Thames Clippers operates for us, and with its Oyster card validators, a terrific extension of TfL’s network for the residents of Battersea.”

Galaxy Clipper and Neptune Clipper are the most technically advanced and energy efficient river and harbour fast ferries in the world. They have been designed to accommodate the unique tidal conditions of the River Thames and can cope with its low and high tidal conditions, allowing it to navigate its shallow reaches and pass under London’s famous but sometimes low bridges. The new boats boast design features such as additional roof windows that maximise opportunities to enjoy London’s iconic skyline and more room than ever to accommodate bikes.

In 2014 alone, MBNA Thames Clippers passenger numbers increased by half a million to 3.8 million. In 2016 the growing MBNA Thames Clippers business is projected to carry in excess of 4.3 million commuters and visitors around London on the river.