South West Londoners are backing a fight to run a popular river bus on the weekends as they believe the service shouldn’t “cater strictly for commuters”.
A petition to extend Uber Boat by Thames Clippers to Wandsworth and Putney piers on the weekends has gained more than 1,120 signatures.
Uber Boat by Thames Clippers currently stops at 24 piers along the River Thames from the recently-opened Barking Riverside Pier in East London to Wandsworth Riverside Quarter Pier and Putney Pier in West London.
But the RB6 route, which stops at the Wandsworth and Putney piers, taking passengers into and out of central London, only operates during the mornings and evenings on weekdays.
A petition calling for the service, which is a partnership between Uber and river bus company Thames Clippers, to be extended to the weekends has now been signed by more than 1,120 people after it was created in July.
Supporters of the petition have said extending the service could cut traffic on the roads on the weekends and provide a more environmentally-friendly option for people wishing to travel.
The petition reads: “With the thousands of extra homes that have been built and are being built in Putney and especially Wandsworth, it is time that the Uber Boat by Thames Clippers service is extended to Putney and Wandsworth at the weekends.
“Please join our petition to show the operators that there are a lot of people who would use the service.”
An update on the petition adds: “I am sure so many more people want this service and the more that use it, who knows, the price may even come down [or] the operators may introduce tricked deals for frequent users.”
Throwing their support behind the petition to change the service’s timetable, one person wrote: “I live in the area and would love to travel by ferry on the weekends.
“I used to live further down the river caught the ferry to work and on the weekends.
“I can’t do that now I live near Wandsworth/Putney. A real shame.”
Another commented: “It’s absurd to cater strictly for commuters and it reduces road traffic.”
A third wrote: “I am a local resident and would like to enjoy the service for leisurely purposes and not just business.”
A fourth said: “Extending the Thames Clipper service to Putney at the weekend would provide a valuable transport link.
“I know many people who live on the stretch beyond Battersea Power Station and they all say they would use the boat if it was running.
“It would also bring visitors upstream to Putney. Please consider this as it would be fantastic.”
The river bus service currently only runs between Barking Riverside Pier and Battersea Power Station Pier on the weekends, along with a ferry service between Canary Wharf and Rotherhithe.
On weekdays, the first morning boat to arrive in Putney on the eastbound service is at 6.30am and the last at 11am, while the first evening boat is at 5.10pm and the last at 9pm.
The first morning boat to stop at Putney on the westbound service is at 6.56am and the last at 10.55am, while the first evening boat is at 5.07pm and the last at 8.54pm.
A spokesperson for Uber Boat by Thames Clippers said: “We are continually reviewing our routes to meet passenger demand and are hopeful we’ll soon be able to start serving all RB6 piers, including Putney, every day (subject to the necessary consents).
“The RB6 route was adjusted in April this year to meet new commuter patterns.
“Our two new hybrid vessels under construction, coupled with further skill development and necessary investment, will allow us to deliver additional service enhancements in the near future.”