There was no ribbon cutting when new ferries begun service on the Woolwich Ferry earlier this year. The Mayors – of London, Newham and Greenwich borough – didn’t show to celebrate the occasion and toast the new arrivals.
That’s probably because no proper service has ever actually started. After months of delay missing a January 2019 opening, a tentative “trial” begun – and that’s how its remained.
The last few days have seen numerous ferry failures culminating in no service again today and none all weekend.
Now, just about every new transport mode suffers issues in the early days. Hands are wrung, brows furrowed and things improve in time. But even by the standards of other boats, ferries, trains and aircraft it’s been a torrid time.
When new ferries were ordered only two were procured to replace three previous vessels. One was always spare before. Now there is no slack.
Workers on the ferry have contacted to say issues are numerous – and industrial relations are on the floor with strike action also occurring.
What’s worse is the silence from all concerned. TfL and borough council’s have barely uttered a word on what issues are and what is being done about it.
That leaves a service that no one relies on, and no one appears to have any faith will improve soon.