Woolwich ferry service improvements on the way as TfL announce changes

Well then. Years after new ferries were introduced Transport for London have finally announced the pretty awful Woolwich ferry service is to improve.

Services will see two ferries in operation from 5am to 9pm seven days a week.

That may be in advance of many heading to the free ferry when tolls are applied to the Blackwall tunnel next year as well as the Silvertown tunnel. Greenwich Council have previously suggested tolling the ferry of traffic builds up.

As Transport for London state, forthcoming  changes include weekends: “The frequency of weekend services, with a two-vessel service now in operation, and services now depart every fifteen minutes, seven days a week.”

TfL now control and operate the ferry

The ferry service has had a torrid few years with replacement ships and docking systems proving unreliable.

While there was previously three ferries with one on standby,TfL decided two would now do when ordering replacements. It didn’t work.

Superloop buses at North Woolwich

Now they think it will.

Bus links

One good thing about improved ferry services is that people can use it to reach North Woolwich from South of the Thames and then take the Superloop service SL2 to various areas of east London.

There is the foot tunnel of course but as recently covered the northern lift has been out of action for a whopping 18 months and counting. Greenwich Council are again pretty quiet on the saga as is their norm.

To their credit Transport for London are very good at sending press releases including this story and excellent at responding to queries.

The polar opposite to Greenwich Council who are obsessed with secrecy with the foot tunnel.


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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

6 thoughts on “Woolwich ferry service improvements on the way as TfL announce changes

  • Excellent news for the peolke both sides of the river who drive to work etc. I can see it getting even busier when toll charges are introduced on the Blackwall Tunnel as people have to watch every penny.
    Thankfully the Woolwich Ferry is known as the Woolwich Free Ferry and long may that continue.

  • TfL want to put a toll on the ferry but it will require an Act of Parliament.

    • Not sure TfL do but Greenwich have certainly mentioned it.

      Act of Parliament difficult but not impossible. Political reality make it unlikely. I expect many to head to Rotherhithe and Woolwich form next year when tolls begin on new tunnel and Blackwall

      • The width restriction on the Rotherhithe tunnel limits the vehicles than can use it. Just cars and light vans.

  • TFL confirmed a while ago that Rotherhithe’s long overdue refurbishment (up to nine months full closure) will be only after Blackwall II opens, and no repairs at least in 2025. The proposed gating at Westcombe Hill may eventually go through too if Labour remains in ascendancy, which will make for some truly ruthless chokepoints across the East-West routes of the borough.

  • Why would Greenwich council be responsible for the lift on the Newham side of the foot tunnel? Serious question. Do Greenwich own and maintain the whole tunnel and both lifts?


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