Tower Hamlets MP Jim Fitzpatrick is “disappointed” over canal boat charges for London Olympics

MP Jim Fitzpatrick has branded canal boat prices to the London Olympics “ridiculous” and said it was expected to be a transport service for local people.

The Poplar and Limehouse MP said it was “very disappointing” that most residents will not be able to enjoy a trip on of the 15 barges operating between Limehouse Marina or Tottenham Hale and a fast-track entrance to the Olympic Park in Stratford.

It comes after Water Chariots, the first company to operate boats to an Olympic Games, announced it is charging �95 for adults and �50 for children for a return journey including music and champagne.

The company was set up by Peter Coleman, the father of an injured soldier, who is employing wounded Royal Marines to negotiate the Bow Back Rivers.

Mr Fitzpatrick said: “It’s ridiculous. The price is 30 times that of a DLR ticket. For a family of four that’s �290. It is clearly targeted at corporate people rather than residents.

“We thought we would get something that would add to transport options for local people. “Something a bit special, which people would be prepared to pay a bit extra for, but not �95.

“At the start it was something everyone supported. It was going to create jobs for disabled veterans. But it’s very disappointing that most local people will not be able to enjoy the trip. There has been no consultation with local people.”

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Mr Coleman defended his business saying it had received no government funding.

He said: “It has required a multi-million pound investment to fund the building of a new fleet of boats, buy a licence and employ 250 people, many of whom will be Londoners.

“The income generated will enable us to operate a service after the Games that will be very different and competitively priced.”

A spokeswoman for British Waterways said they had no influence on pricing.

She said: “Water Chariots were chosen by us and the Olympic Delivery Authority as they presented a sound business plan that had significant legacy value.”

Between the Games day passes for the service will cost �14 for adults and �7 for children.

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