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Thames 2000

Volume 301: debated on Wednesday 24 September 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what progress has been made on his Thames 2000 river transport initiative. [17708]

I am pleased to announce that excellent progress has been made as a result of my Thames 2000 initiative on proposals to establish new passenger transport services on the River Thames by the Millennium, and to leave a permanent legacy thereafter.Today I can announce three new developments which, taken together, should provide the blueprint for securing a new future for passenger transport on the Thames, which I believe is an important ingredient in developing a modern, integrated transport system for the capital. As well as providing an important access route to the Millennium Experience, the aim is to secure a lasting legacy of new investment and high-quality services, which will provide a convenient and attractive new means of travel for Londoners and for visitors.The initiative has been taken forward at my request by the Cross River Partnership, which includes the London Boroughs of Southwark and Lambeth, the Cities of Westminster and London, the Port of London Authority, London Transport and others, in collaboration with the New Millennium Experience Company and the Government Office for London.First, the Cross River Partnership and the New Millennium Experience Company have formally invited a shortlist of potential operators to tender to run new River services. Some of these would serve the Millennium Experience, with direct services from dedicated central London piers and downstream "park-and-sail" sites, as well as a shuttle service to Greenwich. Operators are also being invited to tender for longer-term services, including a "hopper" service linking key central London destinations, and "express" services to central London from both up-stream and down-stream. Potential operators may bid for any or all of these services.Second, the Partnership has drawn up a programme of new infrastructure works along the River. This will provide high-quality new piers at key locations, including close to Waterloo and Blackfriars Stations. It will also secure the much-needed improvement of some existing piers, and improved linkages with other public transport

Board Members of the Housing Corporation
NameAppointed to the BoardCurrent appointment endsRemuneration (per annum)£Main areas of expertise
Baroness Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde (Chairman)6 November 199731 March 200137,958Regulation, management and organisational expertise
George Cracknell (Deputy Chairman)1 December 199430 November 199721,706Finance and banking
Eric Armitage1 October 199730 September 20009,899Registered Social Landlords
Sheila Button1 October 199730 September 20009,899Social housing sector
Sylvia Denman1 March 199628 February 19999,899Legal
John Foster1 June 199631 May 19999,899Local government
Ken Griffin1 October 199531 May 19999,899Business
David Kleeman3 September 199030 September 19989,899Business

modes. The Partnership has sought funding from the Millennium Commission for this project. Matching funding will come from a variety of sources, including local authorities, the PLA, the Single Regeneration Budget and the private sector. The New Millennium Experience Company is also developing new piers on the Greenwich peninsula and downstream.

Finally, we have been working with members of the Partnership to develop new arrangements for managing piers and passenger services on the Thames. Our intention is that a new agency should be set up with responsibility for managing piers and for promoting and co-ordinating river passenger services in London. This agency would in due course come under the aegis of the new London Transport Authority proposed in the "New Leadership for London" Green Paper as part of the plans for a new Greater London Authority. In the interim a shadow agency will be set up under London Transport to commission the new river services and manage piers.