What we're doing

Two new boats will replace the current fleet and make the service more reliable and comfortable for customers. These boats will use a new high-tech mooring system which will be installed at Woolwich and North Woolwich piers in October 2018.

The boats are called the 'Ben Woollacott', after a former deckhand who died working on the ferry and the 'Dame Vera Lynn', after the legendary singer from east London. Find out more about the history behind the names.

The two vessels - built by Polish company Remontowa - are already afloat and ready for final tests.


The improvements will contribute to the Mayor's Transport Strategy and support the Mayor's goals for cleaner air.

Benefits for customers include:

  • Improved reliability
  • More space for passengers and vehicles - the boats will be able to carry 150 passengers and 40 vehicles
  • A separate space for cyclists
  • Step-free access
  • Enhanced safety features

The new boats meet London's Low Emission Zone standards because they use a diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system. This means these boats will:

  • Be fuel efficient
  • Make less noise
  • Produce fewer emissions - two filtering systems like the ones used on London buses will reduce pollutants

What we have done

In 2017 we made a number of dives to investigate the condition of the riverbed and clear any potential obstacles. We are now confident that the upgrade works can start as planned in autumn 2018.

Next steps

When construction of the new berths starts in autumn 2018, the Woolwich Ferry service will have to close temporarily. We'll post more details here closer to the time.