London’s leading river bus Thames Clippers will return to service on 15 June to help Londoners safely commute through the capital. The operator has implemented a range of enhanced hygiene and social distancing measures to allow for a safer transport option through London.
With nearly half of Thames Clippers’ commuters having ‘concerns over getting ill on other forms of transport’, and a quarter stating that they believe they have a ‘better quality of travel on Thames Clippers’, the river bus services is keen to support London’s workers with getting moving again as lockdown measures start to ease.
Thames Clippers will be offering a bespoke timetable for the restart of service. All services will include measures in place to support social distancing and enhanced hygiene at piers and on board the vessels, which include:
- Fully contactless journeys for every passenger both at piers and on board
- Social distancing at piers and on board, with signage, floor markings and blocked-off seats to help maintain adequate distancing
- Doubled capacity for bikes on board most boats – up to 20 on the largest vessels
- PPE equipment for all staff, with health and safety screening for all crew at the start of their shift
- Implementation of Government requirement that all passengers wear a face covering on public transport
- Onboard hand-washing facilities and hand sanitiser stations alongside NHS posters on correct hand-washing procedure
- Safe procedures in place to allow fresh air to pass through the cabin whilst the boat is underway. Passengers will also have the option to sit on the outside back deck
- The onboard bar will be open initially for takeaway orders, with new safety measures in place to protect staff and customers including a clear glass screen at the till and only contactless payments will be accepted
- Touch points and surfaces on board will be regularly wiped down during the service and every vessel deep-cleaned overnight. The vessels will also be disinfected using an electrostatic spray during out-of-service periods during the day as well as nightly. The spray is non-hazardous and the cabin will be safe to enter immediately after use.
Sean Collins, Thames Clippers CEO said, “It is key that we can support London and its commuters with the ease of lockdown and return to work by providing travel in a safe and comfortable way. My entire team has worked incredibly hard to deploy new safety measures and to ensure our passengers have a contact-free and enjoyable commutable experience.
“The unique travel experience with Thames Clippers naturally provides good personal spacing and in addition we have reduced our passenger capacity to ensure even greater social distancing, which has allowed us to increase the number of bicycles we can carry on each boat, so those who want to cycle part of their journey can do so too.”
With the new measures in place, Thames Clippers boats will carry just 0.85 passengers per square metre, compared to 1.4 passengers per square metre during peak times before the pandemic. This is contrasted with the London Underground which now carries around 1.3 passengers per square metre, compared to 5 – 7 passengers per square metre previously.
With workers now following a more flexible routine, and with 70% of river commuters surveyed stating that they will work more from home, Thames Clippers has launched a new carnet ticket to reflect this, offering 10 pre-paid journeys for the price of nine when purchased via the Thames Clippers app. For full ticketing options please visit thamesclippers.com/commuters.