New floating Thames pier opens at Vauxhall

Boris Johnson at St George Wharf
Image caption London mayor Boris Johnson is seeking to increase pier capacity on the Thames by 20%

A £1.7m floating pier has opened in south London to help provide high-speed river boat services west of Waterloo.

The pier, based at St George Wharf in Vauxhall, will open the west of the River Thames to passengers for the first time in two decades.

From 3 October, a service will run every 40 minutes from St George Wharf to the City and Canary Wharf.

The development supports London Mayor Boris Johnson's target to increase pier capacity on the Thames by 20% by 2013.

There are also plans for other piers in the outer London sections of the river, especially in areas such as Nine Elms, Woolwich Arsenal and Barking Riverside.

'Underused highway'

Piers on the river's busiest section will also be extended, with the aim of opening up the river to 500,000 more users by the end of 2012.

Developer St George PLC funded the pier and worked with the Greater London Authority, Transport for London, Lambeth Council, the Port of London Authority and river boat operators Thames Clippers to develop it.

Mr Johnson, said the Thames had traditionally been "one of the most underused highways in the capital" and said he was determined to change that.

Mark Griffiths, managing director of St George South London, said: "During the Olympics the opening of the waterway at this important development will make travelling across the capital even easier for residents and visitors."

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