BY TOBY PORTER
A river bus was officially launched last week when 26 Chelsea pensioners got a free ride.
The ribbon was cut on the service and the party of service veterans joined Deputy Mayor of London for Transport Val Shawcross, and members of the Battersea power station team aboard an MBNA Thames Clipper – now called Uber Boat by Thames Clippers – travelling to London Bridge City, the nearest pier to City Hall.
Ms Shawcross and Wandsworth council leader Cllr Ravi Govindia welcomed the Chelsea Pensioners aboard for a trip to City Hall at the official celebration of the new Battersea Power Station River Bus pier on Thursday, November 16.
The River Bus service brings Battersea power station within 15 minutes of Embankment, for the West End, 19 minutes of Blackfriars, for the City and 40 minutes of Canary Wharf.
Boats run every 20 minutes during peak commuting hours and every 30 minutes off peak and at weekends. The service provides an additional route for residents and workers at Battersea power station as well as the thousands of visitors to Circus West Village, the first phase of the regeneration project to complete.
Circus West Village is the home of several new restaurants, bars, shops, cafes and a new arts and events venue, The Village Hall.
Ms Shawcross said: “I was delighted to officially open the new Battersea power station pier yesterday and to welcome the Chelsea Pensioners aboard the River Bus for a visit to City Hall.
“Encouraging greater use of the Thames is a vital part of the Mayor’s transport strategy, and the power station pier will help to increase river passenger numbers and keep the city moving.”
Cllr Govindia said: “We are delighted that Wandsworth is now London’s best connected river borough giving people more transport choice than ever before. The opening of the pier is also yet another milestone in the regeneration of Nine Elms, which is the great source of new jobs and homes in the country.”
To mark the official opening of the new service, in partnership with MBNA Thames Clippers, the Battersea Power Station Development Company (BPSDC) has given Chelsea Pensioners unlimited complimentary trips on the River Bus service so they can enjoy journeying through London by boat.
Tickets for the River Bus can be purchased online mbnathamesclippers.com or at ticket machines at any pier. Oyster and contactless payment can be used to touch in and out at all piers along the route. Follow @batterseapwrstn for the latest news and updates from Battersea power station.
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