We've installed new high-tech auto mooring systems at Woolwich and North Woolwich piers. We also replaced the existing berthing structures with floating pontoon berths and dredged the river bed to accommodate the new ferries at low tide.

New boats

Two new boats have replaced the old fleet and will make the service more reliable and comfortable for customers. They have more space, cycle-specific facilities and use a quieter, low-emission engine.

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.)

They were built by Polish company Remontowa and sailed to London from Poland.


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

Benefits for customers include:

  • Improved reliability
  • 14% more space for passengers and vehicles - the boats can carry 150 passengers, with 210 metres for vehicles across four lanes as well as dedicated cycle spaces
  • Step-free access
  • Enhanced safety - the new vessels berth using magnetic technology, making them more stable to  board and alight

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

  • Fuel efficient
  • Less noisy
  • Producing fewer emissions - two filtering systems like the ones used on London buses reduce pollutants