Murky Depths

News in London and beyond

Royal Docks, Transport

New Thames Clipper pier at Royal Wharf to open end of September [EDIT: It didn’t]

Looking towards Royal Wharf. This isn't the new vessel.

[EDIT] It didn’t open as hoped at end of September. New trial opening put at 7th October. Full service hopefully end of October.

A new pier for Thames Clipper services will see boats stopping at Royal Wharf when it opens at the end of September.

The £5.7 million new pier will serve a development of 3,385 homes at Royal Wharf plus other developments in the area including adjacent 800-home Deanston Wharf.

View from Thames

Commencement of services will help with crowding on the DLR. Pontoon Dock station has seen huge levels of growth in recent years with a 300% increase per month since 2017 from 70,000 to over 200,000.

It won’t be a huge respite as Thames Clipper’s largest vessel can accommodate 222 passengers while one three-car DLR train takes 852 passengers.

Royal Wharf seen from Charlton

Still, it all helps as many homes on the development are yet to be occupied thus DLR usership looks set to continue rising for some time yet and Crossrail delays continue. It’s also welcome to see the Thames increasingly used which has been underutilised for a long time.

Royal Wharf

It’s perhaps not as good news for those in Woolwich. A new stop will increase passenger numbers on boats heading to the Royal Arsenal pier and slow down journeys.

New towers rise in Woolwich on former Waterfront car park site

Many more homes also continue to rise around Woolwich near the pier including towers on the former Waterfront car park.

Now under construction

Royal Wharf pier is the first in a number of planned piers along this stretch of the Thames east of Canary Wharf including Charlton which will serve the 7,500-home Charlton Riverside housing scheme and another pier on the west side of Greenwich Peninsula as covered on this site back in 2017 when plans were submitted. Morden Wharf and other developments will benefit.

Planned pier on the west side of Greenwich Peninsula

In time these new stops will slow down Woolwich trips a fair amount which raises the question of whether an additional semi-fast service would be launched.

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5 Comments

  1. It might not be such bad news for Woolwich. In time, it might help to justify services continuing past North Greenwich all day.

    • fromthemurkydepths

      That’s true for leisure users though commuter peak times could become a squeeze. Perhaps frequencies there could be increased.

  2. Charles Calthrop

    I’ve only counted 70 seats in each DLR carriage. 852 seems excessive even on a bad day

  3. CDT

    It good to see more piers being built and more stops being introduced on the Thames Clipper services. Also using the River Thames more for these services is also good and provides an alternative to the overcrowded DLR, trains and buses.

    However, I feel that it will be sometime before Woolwich and surrounding areas benefit from improved Thames Clipper services and probably a few years before the new pier at Charlton is opened. The new Charlton Pier will benefit new housing developments in Charlton and on the Greenwich Peninsula.

    In the meantime I think we all need to continue presssing for improvements to the DLR,train and bus services in the area.

    The new longer DLR trains are urgently needed on the Woolwich and Lewisham services. Both areas have seen huge re-developments over the last few years with no real improvements to the public transport infrastructure. If anything we have only seen cuts to services.

  4. Gina

    interesting to think about. A fast ferry would be ideal (and clearly up the frequency otherwise). There are only 3 stops needed, which will boost Woolwich housing developgment.

    Woolwich – Canary Wharf – Bank District.

    Pure this route

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