Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Thames Clippers cut back in the evenings

The Thames Clipper service is to be dramatically cut back on both weekday and weekend evenings, it was revealed today.

The last weekday service east which currently leaves the Embankment just before midnight, will now leave just after nine, and the last service west will now leave just after eight.

The changes come as the government implement big cuts to transport subsidies and as TfL are sacking staff and raising fares.

Under such conditions, the already heavily subsidised and inefficient river service was never going to come out well.

Liberal Democrat Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon, who noticed the changes said today:

"No one would ever accept the last bus leaving central London as being as early as nine o’clock in the evening -   there is no reason why river transport should be any different...

"The Mayor was elected promising to improve river services and claiming that the river should be a vital part of an integrated transport strategy.  This decision totally shatters that claim."

While I agree that this will affect those (very few) people who use the late service, I disagree that such a little used and niche service should be protected when others are going to the wall.

The river is an enjoyable option into town if you can afford the price and time it takes, but it was never going to be a replacement for the other far more direct and mass transit modes.

Of course the decision will be bad news for those who prefer to pay to avoid using the trains and buses with the rest of us.

But when money is tight these are exactly the sort of services that should be cut back first.

More reaction from the Greenwich end of the service at 853

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