Loads more Uber Boat services could soon be coming to east London

Whether you prefer bikes, buses, trains or tubes, there are plenty of ways to get around LondonBut unless you live in very specific areas or need to criss-cross the Thames on a regular basis, you might not be a frequent user of the city’s boat services. 

But that might not be the case for much longer, as London’s boat services could be getting an overhaul. In exciting news, the east of the city could be getting more Uber Boats to better serve the needs of passengers and their post-2020 schedules. 

For the last two years, Uber Boats by Thames Clipper has operated a peak weekday service from 6.30am to 11am in mornings and from 5.15pm to 11.45pm in evenings. However, Barking Riverside Limited (BRL, the developer behind Barking Riverside) wants new journeys added to the timetable.

In an effort to improve services for residents and encourage more visitors to the area, BRL is keen for an all-day, hourly service during the week to be introduced. It says the current offering doesn’t really suit people’s new working schedules, given so many people no longer commute during ‘peak’ times.

Though the proposal is being considered, the operator has asked for £1 million in funding to increase the weekday services. But BRL apparently can’t provide that money on its own.

Barking and Dagenham Council has been asked for £450,000 from its Strategic Community Infrastructure Levy, and parties such as the Greater London Authority, private sector partners and other local authorities who’d benefit from the new service might also be called upon for some cash. However, nothing is confirmed just yet.

But it all sounds well-worth doing. Council officers said that new services would not only make Barking a ‘better connected centre’, but that schools in Woolwich and Greenwich would benefit too, according to the Standard.

Uber Boats has been trying to acquire three new boats which were originally earmarked for west London services. However, should the funding for these new services go ahead, it’s likely the vessels will be handed over to Barking Riverside. 

The plans are due to be discussed at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday (March 19), so we should know a little more then. Watch this space for updates! 

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