HC Deb 31 March 1998 vol 309 cc496-7W
49. Mr. Robathan

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has for improving river transport on the Thames; and if he will make a statement. [35494]

Ms Glenda Jackson

In July last year, the Deputy Prime Minister launched his Thames 2000 initiative to use the Millennium celebrations at Greenwich as the catalyst to revitalise passenger services on the Thames. Since then there have been three key developments.London Transport has formed a new subsidiary—London River Services Ltd.—to own and manage key piers on the Thames and license passenger services. This will further the integration of river transport into London's transport system. On 16 March, the Deputy Prime Minister announced the outcome of a tendering exercise to provide river services to the Millennium Experience, and continuing legacy services thereafter linking a large number of Central London piers. Operators of new services have committed up to £6 million investment in new vessels. At the same time, he announced the award by the Millennium Commission of a grant of £6.8 million to help fund the building of new piers and the refurbishment of others. In total £15 million will be spent on building new piers at Waterloo and Blackfriars and refurbishing piers at Westminster and Tower.

In total, these developments represent new investment of some £21 million in transport on the Thames.

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