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Work begins on new riverboat stop near London City Airport

10 Jan 2019 by Jenni Reid
Royal Wharf pier near London City Airport

Construction has begun on a new pier in east London’s Royal Wharf development set to open later this year.

The 130m terminal will be served by riverboat MBNA Thames Clippers, with London City Airport accessible via a 20 minute walk, seven minute DLR ride or five minute drive.

Designed by London-based architects Nex, the Silvertown site will also comprise a 162 sqm viewing platform which separates a public promenade from the floating gangway and pontoon of the terminal.

The pontoon will have a sheltered waiting area on a timber island, with furniture and other displays enclosed in a metal shell.

Nex said the design would be a “playful and contemporary response” to more traditional pier design.

MBNA Thames Clippers services run at 20-minute intervals between 22 London piers including North Greenwich for The O2, Greenwich, Canary Wharf, Tower, London Bridge City, Westminster and London Eye for Waterloo, as well as residential stops. Payment is via Oyster card or contactless.

Its boats carried 4.1 million passengers in 2017.

A host of construction projects are underway along the Thames in the east of the city, and the Royal Wharf Pier is primarily to serve a new neighbourhood by developers Ballymore and Oxley, which will have 3,385 riverside properties, open public spaces and a market square with shops, restaurants and bars.

However it will also provide a potentially more pleasant route to London City from central London.

John Mulryan, Group Managing Director at Ballymore, said:

“Major new infrastructure like our Royal Wharf pier is a game-changer for east London’s connectivity – for north to south of the river, and into central London. Non-road travel is an essential part of the sustainability and growth of London’s commuter network, and this pier will soon be a part of that.

“Nex has done an incredible job on the design, which we reveal in further detail today. Now that construction is underway, the vision is one step closer to being realised.”

Sean Collins, Chief Executive Officer at MBNA Thames Clippers, said:

“MBNA Thames Clippers welcomes the start of construction for the new Royal Wharf Pier enhancing our collaboration with Ballymore, which has been ongoing for many years.

“This is a significant milestone in our company’s network of piers across its 25km route, with Royal Wharf currently being our furthest pier east on the north bank of the Thames, servicing this fantastic riverside development.  Residents will have the opportunity to enjoy water transport, with connections to Central London and as far west as Putney via Battersea.”

Alan Dempsey, director at Nex, said:

“In working with Ballymore and continuing our interest in connecting people to place, we saw an opportunity to combine new transport infrastructure with a distinctive new public space for London floating over the Thames. The pier provides both residents of Royal Wharf and visitors with new access to the city, while also offering places to gather, sit and enjoy the remarkable views of the Millennium Park, Thames Barrier and Canary Wharf.”

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