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26.09.2006

Warm welcome for new investment in Thames commuter services

Plans for new investment in the Thames Clippers commuter boat services have been warmly welcomed by the Port of London Authority (PLA).

The announcement that AEG Europe is taking a major stake in the Thames Clippers operation should see a doubling in the size of their fleet of fast catamaran from six vessels to twelve. This will enable the development of a higher frequency passenger service throughout the day.

Simon Sherrard, Chairman of the Port of London Authority, commented:

“In my address to the port community at the PLA Reception in March this year, I stated that the provision of a lasting legacy is one of the priorities of the Olympic Bid and that we must not miss this opportunity to create greater utilisation of the River on a long-term basis.  I am delighted that AEG Europe are taking up this challenge by investing in what is already a successful commuter boat service on the River, one that will be ideally placed to transport spectators to and from the Games.

“Between now and 2012 the progressive expansion of the Thames Clippers fleet will enable an increasing number of Londoners to commute to work on the Thames, a welcome alternative to the capital’s congested roads, trains and Underground.  We hope that the increased services will be increasingly integrated with other forms of public transport, giving the travelling public the greatest in flexibility and convenience.”

·                     Contact: Martin Garside, Port of London Authority. Tel: 01474 562366. Email: martin.garside@pla.co.uk 

·                     For the full text of the Thames Clippers announcement go to: http://www.thamesclippers.com/article/business/146

·                     A photo of a Thames Clipper catamaran on the Thames is available on request   

Notes to Editors:

1.       The PLA is the port and navigation authority for 150km (95 miles) of the tidal Thames from the sea to Teddington. It provides navigational, pilotage and other services for users of the Thames.

2.       London is one of the top three ports in the UK and handles over 50 million tonnes of cargo each year. The Port comprises over 70 independently owned and operated terminals and port facilities, which handle a wide range of cargoes.

3.      London also has a busy passenger boat trade for tourists and commuters and is a popular destination for passenger cruise ships. The tidal Thames is also used widely by those with small recreational craft of many types.