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Woolwich Ferry

Volume 114: debated on Monday 6 April 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will state the cost during 1986 of maintaining the Woolwich ferry, the number of vehicles carried, an estimate of the number of passengers carried, and the average cost per crossings per vehicle.

Figures for 1986–87 are distorted by strike action early in the year. The cost of operating the Woolwich ferry in 1986–87 is estimated to be £2·1 million. Estimates of typical yearly traffic are 1·05 million vehicles and 250,000 foot passsengers. Average cost per vehicle crossing is approximately £2.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport when he received the consultants' report on the future operation of the Woolwich ferry; what consultations he has undertaken about its recommendations; and when he plans to announce his decisions on the future level of ferry services.

The consultants have still to finalise their report. The London borough of Greenwich has failed to provide the input expected from it.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what is the current estimate of the number of passengers being carried on the Woolwich ferry each week; and how this compares with the numbers for each of the past five years for which figures are available.

This information is not collected on a regular basis. Spot surveys conducted by the London boroughs of Newham and Greenwich in 1983 and 1985 identified about 300 foot passengers daily using the ferry in each direction.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what opportunity he has provided for the Woolwich ferry work force to comment on the consultants' report on its future level of operation.

This is a matter for our agents, the London borough of Greenwich, to arrange at the appropriate time.

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if, pursuant to his written answer of 30 March, Official Report, column 370, concerning consultants' proposals to change the hours of operation of the Woolwich free ferry, he will consult the London borough of Newham and representatives of users of the ferry, prior to making any decision on changed hours of operations.

The London borough of Newham and road haulage interests have already been consulted. I shall take account of the needs of all users of the ferry in reaching my decisions.