TfL has said it expects construction of a new ferry service between Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf to begin next year.
A cheaper ferry option for the river crossing became the agency’s preferred option after cost estimates for a proposed bridge across the Thames spiralled to more than £600m.
Last week, chair of the London Assembly’s transport committee, Navin Shah AM, accused TfL of getting its sums wrong on the Rotherhithe Bridge, and demanded answers on how the ferry service would run.
Estimated costs for a walking and cycling bridge jumped five-fold from £120m in just two years, causing TfL to junk the project in July – despite the idea being overwhelmingly backed by both local councillors and residents.
Now TfL says it is progressing plans for a “clean, fast ferry service” with a second consultation on the designs to be expected in summer.
“We are absolutely committed to improving cross-river connectivity for cyclists and pedestrians, particularly in east London where there is a pressing need,” said Heidi Alexander, the deputy mayor for transport.
“This new rapid ferry service between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf would make it even easier for Londoners to get around the capital by bike or on foot and would bring a boost to businesses in the area.”
Consultants have also been brought on board to assess how TfL could run the service, including whether it could be free to customers.
TfL added that it was considering where new cycle docking stations could be added to cycle routes in the area, including to areas planned to link into the pier where the ferry would depart from.
In original consultation in March 2018, 93 per cent of residents backed a navigable river crossing at some kind between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf.
85 per cent backed a navigable bridge.