Essential refurbishment of Woolwich Ferry loading bridges

22 June 2015
"We’re working to ensure that the Woolwich Ferry service continues to operate for the foreseeable future as well as improving its reliability"

Transport for London (TfL) and Briggs Marine and Environmental Services have completed phase one of the refurbishment of four loading bridges which enable vehicles and pedestrians to get on and off the Woolwich Ferry.

The work, which started in October last year, will make the operation of the bridges more reliable and efficient. It will also enable them to cope with the estimated increase in vehicle weights in the next 10 years.

At the end of this month and in early July, the bridges will be taken out of service for essential refurbishment work – for three-hour periods, that will coincide with high tides.

Andrew Thompson, Head of London River Services, said:

'Phase one of this essential refurbishment project has now been successfully completed and I would like to thank our passengers for bearing with us during the work and for their continued patience during the second phase. We’re working to ensure that the Woolwich Ferry service continues to operate for the foreseeable future as well as improving its reliability. In the meantime apologise for any disruptions to journeys.'

The four loading bridges move up and down with the tides to allow ferries access to the pier and vehicles and pedestrians to get on and off. The loading bridges were built to the standards and requirements of the 1960’s and, although well engineered, they now require strengthening for today’s heavier vehicles.

As part of this work, the ferry service will be suspended for three hour periods daily from Monday 29 June till Monday 6 July (please see below for exact times). Scheduling of the work is dictated by water level and our ferries will not be able to dock for one and half hours either side of high tide.

The suspensions will be kept as short as possible in order to minimise disruption but in the event of extreme weather conditions there is a risk that they will be extended.

Service suspension times are predicted as follows:

In late June and early July 2015, the ferry service will be suspended at the following times

  • Monday 29 June – 10:45 – 13:45
  • Tuesday 30 June – 11:30 – 14:30
  • Wednesday 1 July – 12:30, 15:30
  • Thursday 2 July – 13:15 – 16:00
  • Friday 3 July – 14:00 – 17:00
  • Saturday 4 July –14:45 – 17:45
  • Sunday 5 July – Last crossing 15:15
  • Monday 6 July – service begins 06:50. No service after 16:00

The closures are timed around high tide and will allow work to continue on the movable link bridges that cannot be complete while the ferry is in operation.

For information about local public transport options and to help plan your journey, please visit

TfL is developing plans for a package of new river crossings for east London. These are intended to support future growth in London’s economy and population. Some of the options for new crossings that TfL proposed could also replace the current crossing at Woolwich in the longer term. These options included a new ferry at Woolwich, a new ferry or bridge at Gallions Reach or a new bridge at Belvedere. TfL undertook consultation on these options from July to September 2014. Further details, including a summary of an initial analysis of the outcome to the consultation is available at


Notes to Editors

  • The Woolwich Ferry operates a free service linking Woolwich with North Woolwich.
  • The Woolwich Ferry carries around one million vehicles and over two million passengers a year.
  • The ferries, terminals and facilities are owned by London River Services (LRS), but the ferry service is operated by Briggs Marine and Environmental Services under contract to LRS.
  • The three ferries in use today were built in 1963 and the current terminals were opened in 1965.
  • Live travel news is available at