LRS issues licenses and charges independent boat operators to use the berths at:

  • Greenwich
  • Tower
  • Bankside
  • Blackfriars
  • Festival
  • Embankment
  • Westminster
  • Millbank

LRS does not directly operate any boat services on the Thames.

Two main categories of boat services use our piers:

  • Scheduled service River Bus and River Tours which operate a regular timetable
  • Ad hoc charter bookings for private hire boats typically used for corporate events or private parties

LRS also owns the three Woolwich Ferry vessels and their associated terminals and infrastructure. This cross-river service is run under contract to Briggs Marine and Environmental Services.

River Action Plan

LRS has been leading on delivering the River Action Plan launched in 2013. This set out to encourage greater use of river services with the target of doubling annual passenger journeys to 12 million by 2020.

Improvements have been made to river services under the four themes of the plan:

  • Better piers
  • Better information and integration
  • Better promotion
  • Better partnership working

Projects we've completed include:

  • Extensions built to Bankside and Westminster piers allowing more boat services to call there
  • Yellow card readers installed at all piers served by the River Bus to allow River Bus to accept Oyster pay as you go and contactless
  • Improved signs at piers
  • A new developer-owned pier opening at Plantation Wharf in Battersea through joint partnership working
  • A successful marketing campaign promoting the river experience and the variety of boat services on offer

Find out more and plan your river trip on our River travel pages.

Quick facts

  • 10.3 million passenger journeys took place on the river during the 2015/16 financial year
  • The Thames has a large tidal range of up to seven metres between high tide and low tide
  • Transporting passengers on the Thames first became regulated in 1510 when King Henry VIII granted licenses to watermen that gave them exclusive rights to carry passengers on the river