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River bus to trial service across the Thames from Gravesend into central London

PUBLISHED: 08:57 08 August 2017 | UPDATED: 08:57 08 August 2017

An MBNA Thames Clippers vessel

An MBNA Thames Clippers vessel

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MBNA Thames Clippers will offer the service free over four days next month

A river bus service from Gravesend to central London will be trialled for four days next month.

MBNA Thames Clippers will bring its 220-capacity vessel to Kent and offer journeys direct into the capital from Monday, September 11 until Thursday, September 14.

For the trial, there will be one sailing in the morning at 7.15am and one in the evening departing from Embankment at 5.40pm.

The service will pick up at the town’s pontoon and have drop off points at Canary Wharf, Tower Bridge, Blackfriars and Embankment.

MBNA Thames Clippers will be offering the trial for free but it asks people to book onto the service so bosses can take into account the numbers on board.

The service from Gravesend to Embankment will take about one hour and 10 minutes, with the journey to Canary Wharf just 48 minutes and in return for the free journey, MBNA Thames Clippers is asking that customers fill in a questionnaire on their experiences and the sort of service they would like to see if it were to become permanent.

Gravesend Borough Council’s cabinet member for business development, Samir Jassal, said: “It’s really great that the service is coming down to Gravesend.

“MBNA Thames Clippers will offer many benefits that the train direct into London cannot.

“The vessel has on-board facilities such as an outdoor seated deck, toilets, a coffee bar and access to daily newspapers.

“There’s a lot happening in the Gravesend part of the River Thames and it’s our ambition that we can do more in the future.

“If this trial is a success then we’d love to be able to work with MBNA Thames Clippers to offer this service continually.”

Sean Collins, chief executive officer, MBNA Thames Clippers, added: “We are committed to growing the river bus network in London and further east throughout the port.

“We want as many commuters as possible to realise the huge benefits in terms of speed, comfort and frequency of travelling by river in London.

“We are optimistic about the volume of customers opting to trial the new service and hope to soon be able to offer Gravesend even greater transport links permanently.”

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