Hammersmith Temporary Ferry

After Hammersmith Bridge reopened to pedestrians, cyclists and river traffic in July 2021, we agreed with the Hammersmith Bridge Taskforce to continue work on having a temporary ferry service as a contingency if the bridge needs to close again.

Uber Boats (by Thames Clippers) is proposing to take passengers between piers near Queen Caroline Street in Hammersmith and the Hammersmith Bridge approach in Barnes.

We communicated regularly with the local community and other river users directly affected by the proposed landing sites before submitting our planning applications to Hammersmith & Fulham and Richmond upon Thames councils.

Ferry service

The ferry will:

  • Run services daily 06:00-22:00
  • Be able to take over 1100 passengers across the river in both directions at peak times

Adult fares are expected to mirror buses at £1.55 for Pay as you go, with a Hopper option between bus and ferry and the same concessions, including free travel for children and the Freedom Pass.

The ferry and the local area

Safety measures

  • The walkways will be equipped with safety equipment including grab ropes, ladders and lifesaving equipment
  • All vessels have life jackets for all passengers, plus a life raft for all passengers


The boats will run at low power, with no high revving of engines, so Thames Clippers doesn't expect significant noise pollution. The company runs services to 21 piers across London with minimal complaints from local residents.

A noise impact assessment has been submitted with the planning applications.

Environmental impact

The boats will use the tide to glide across the river - this efficient use of fuel will help minimise any pollution produced.

Choosing the landing sites

The landing sites were chosen because they sit close to the Hammersmith Bridge and within easy reach of existing transport hubs. The Queen Caroline Street slipway is publicly owned so legal negotiation for use of this was expected to be significantly more straightforward than all other - privately owned - landing sites along the northern bank. The slipway is not directly overlooked by residents and access is good via the road and footpath.

  • Along with Thames Clippers we looked at putting the northern (Hammersmith side) landing point further downstream near Fulham Reach. But the existing pier cannot accommodate a river bus service of the size we needed
  • Landing at Chancellors Wharf would have required us to build a structure into the river wall to hold the brow or gangway to access the pier. The river wall here is in an uncertain condition, supported by buttresses. This could have made it harder for us to get the necessary consent from the Environment Agency - the structure is a flood defence. (Chancellor's Wharf river wall is also privately owned and third-party negotiations could have delayed the service start. Plus, it's in front of a residential development.) At Queen Caroline we can use the floating walkways

Improvements to local transport services

We have committed to reviewing local transport services including the frequency of night buses serving Hammersmith and Barnes.

Night running

Although running the ferry later at night would affect the running costs, this is something that can be looked at when the service is up and running, depending on demand and the results of environmental testing.

Meeting local transport demand

We and Thames Clippers are committed to running the service often enough to meet customer demand. A third vessel is on standby - it can be brought into use if there is enough demand.

Background to the ferry

In October 2020 we agreed a wider support package with the Government which confirmed funding for the ferry as an interim measure while the future of Hammersmith Bridge is decided.

After a competitive procurement process we selected Uber Boat by Thames Clippers to run the temporary ferry.