A new commuter river bus service is being trialled in the capital next month

Rebecca Smith
Contactless came to the river service last year
Contactless came to the river service last year (Source: Getty)

A new commuter bus service is coming to the capital next month.

London's MBNA Thames Clippers is hoping the trial of its service from Gravesend Town Pier to central London will make a splash when it kicks off next month. The trial will take place between 11 and 14 September to assess the level of demand in the area.

For those four days, the service will be free to use, but commuters need to pre-book the tickets online.

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From Monday to Thursday, there will be a morning service leaving Gravesend Town Pier at 07.15, which will call at Canary Wharf Pier at 08.03, Tower Pier at 08.13, Blackfriars Pier at 08.19, and Embankment Pier at 08.25.

In the evenings, the boat will leave Embankment Pier at 17.40, calling at Blackfriars Pier at 17.46, Tower Pier at 17.52, Canary Wharf Pier at 18.02, and arrive at Gravesend Town Pier at 18.50.

The trial follows the recent launch of the Mercury Clipper, one of two new passenger boats bolstering MBNA Thames Clippers' growing river transport network across the capital.

Sean Collins, chief executive officer, MBNA Thames Clippers, said:

We are committed to growing the river bus network in London and further east throughout the port. We want as many commuters as possible to realise the huge benefits in terms of speed, comfort and frequency of travelling by river in London.

We are optimistic about the volume of customers opting to trial the new service and hope to soon be able to offer Gravesend even greater transport links permanently.

The trial marks the latest development for the river bus service, which Transport for London has been keen to demonstrate as a nifty alternative to other transport in the capital. Last year, TfL rolled out contactless on the service, with customers being charged for their journey based on three river fare zones: west, central and east.

The river bus route map
The river bus route map (Source: Thames Clippers)

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