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Open new Thames line’ to relieve tube network, say economists

PUBLISHED: 18:00 06 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:26 05 October 2010

PLANS for a new London tube’ line is proposed by leading transport economists today. The proposed Thames Line’ would be on the river, using frequent high-speed boats stopping at 20 piers along the way from East London to Putney

By Mike Brooke

PLANS for a new London tube’ line is proposed by leading transport economists today.

But it won’t burrow hundreds of feet below the ground like Crossrail.

The proposed Thames Line’ would be on the river, using frequent high-speed boats stopping at 20 piers along the way from East London to Putney in the west.

It could be created in under three years for just £30 million, a report by the Policy Exchange think tank suggests.

Maps of how the new service would look on the London Underground diagram and a timetable are included in the report.

Robert McIlveen, who edited the report, said: “Creating a new Thames line’ on the Tube map would relieve some of the worst pinch’ points on the Underground.

“The river is like a huge motorway running through the heart of London, but has been left nearly empty.”

The Thames Line’ could carry nearly as many passengers as the Waterloo & City Line, up to 12 million a year, his report suggests. The idea is being studied seriously by City Hall.

But some piers would have to be extended first, to allow simultaneous embarkation and disembarkation for faster turnaround and for interchange with other transport such as buses and trains, just like stations on the Underground.

More publicity would be given to destinations within a 15-minute walk of piers, with some park and ride’ options suggested in East London.

The 9mph boat speed limit west of Tower Bridge would also be raised to make fast, river commuter transport viable in the morning rush hour.


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