Pier to eternity… or London Bridge

Commuters began using a river bus on the Thames on Wednesday which takes little more than 20 minutes to go from Battersea to London Bridge.

The first passengers took the boat from a new pier in front of the famous chimneys of Battersea Power Station (BPS) – the 22nd landing spot since commuter trips began in 1999.

The opening marks a significant extension to River Bus services on the River Thames this year and could take workers as far as Canary Wharf in as quickly as 40 minutes.

The new service takes 15 minutes to go from Battersea power station to Embankment Pier and 20 minutes to Blackfriars.

It is operated by MBNA Thames Clippers, which now has 15 catamarans after starting as a one-boat operation in 1999. Boats run every 20 minutes during peak commuting hours and every 30 minutes off-peak and at weekends.

The routes are an extra way to work for thousands of people rebuilding BPS as well as the thousands of visitors to the former electricity generator and Circus West Village.

BPS’s developers have invested more than £1million to support the routes. BPS development company chief financial officer Simon Murphy said: “Whether you are using the River Bus for commuting or to get to your favourite events and exhibitions at key venues along the River Thames, it is now easier than ever to get around the capital from Battersea.”

MBNA Thames Clippers chief executive Sean Collins said: “BPS is the 22nd pier along our routes and the addition of this stop will support growing demand from people wishing to live, work and spend leisure time at this location as the transformation takes shape.

The River Bus service is going from strength to strength, with a growing number of people across the capital opting to travel by boat.

“More than three million passengers use our services every year and we expect Battersea power station to take travelling by river to a new level, helping prove that this is a popular destination in its own right and that it will become a must-do in London.”

Tickets for the River Bus can be bought online at www.mbnathamesclippers.com or at ticket machines at any pier. Oyster and contactless payment can be used to touch in and out at all piers along the route.