Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed its intention to take over the operation and maintenance of the Woolwich Ferry to improve the service
This comes on the back of technical problems that have plagued the hybrid electric ferries since their launch in January last year. The hybrid power management system has been a major factor behind the problems experienced.
A statement said the plans mean passengers will “benefit from an increased focus on reliability and customer service”.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, asked TfL to review its options for managing the ferry ahead of Briggs Marine Ltd’s current contract expiring on 31 March 2020. TfL concluded that taking the operation and maintenance inhouse would ensure a higher level of control, and by using its experience and resources from across the organisation it would improve the customer experience.
The transition to an inhouse operation is expected to complete by the end of the year, after the necessary preparation and employee consultation has concluded. Briggs Marine and TfL have agreed to a short contract extension to help support a smooth transition.
Mayor Khan said “The Woolwich Ferry is an important part of London’s transport network, and I share passengers’ frustration at the unacceptable closures they have faced over the past year. I am delighted that TfL is set to take over the contract – bringing a renewed focus on Londoners’ needs including better reliability and customer service.”
Director of rail & sponsored services Jonathan Fox said “Taking the operation of the Woolwich Ferry inhouse will increase the focus on its performance, ultimately delivering an improved experience for our customers. We would like to thank Briggs Marine for running this operation over the years, and particularly for supporting us through the upcoming transition period.”