Thames Clippers boat trip at sunset
Thames Clippers boats now regularly run from Woolwich to Barking Riverside

Travelling between Woolwich and Barking Riverside by boat will be cheaper from next month – but the seven-minute trip will still be one of London’s most expensive short-hop fares.

Thames Clippers boats started running to Barking Riverside in April, providing a direct link between the Royal Arsenal and the huge new development on the north bank of the river.

While the privately-run boats offer a discount for travellers using Oyster and contactless cards, they sit outside the Transport for London fare system: despite the huge developments rising by the Thames, the cost of bringing the boats into the capital’s network has always been seen as too much.

So while the new service provided a valuable link across the Thames, at the moment passengers using Oyster or contactless are charged £4.80 – only 20p less than a tourist ride on the London Cable Car.

Barking Riverside
The Barking Riverside pier opened to passengers in April. Thamesmead, which has no cross-river services, is in the background

From Monday, September 5, Thames Clippers is introducing a special cross-river fare of £3.80 for Woolwich-Barking Riverside customers – a £1 discount on the usual Oyster or contactless fare, but more than twice as expensive as the equivalent Elizabeth Line or bus fare.

For many, the fast journey will be well worth the cost. Thames Clippers is marketing the fare as helping people reach the Elizabeth Line at Woolwich, but it will also help people from the south of the river reach the new London Overground station at Barking Riverside, with connections to east London and Essex. Six new early boats are also being introduced to Barking to aid commuters heading in that direction.

Similarly, with the last boat east at just before midnight, the service also provides an opportunity for the beleaguered Woolwich Works venue – right next to the pier – to attract a new audience. The cheaper fares will come too late for summer events at Barking Riverside, however.

The £3.80 cross-river fares are also available for trips between Greenland Pier or the Doubletree Docklands Pier and Canary Wharf. They are not available at other piers in southeast or east London, such as Greenwich, North Greenwich or Royal Wharf. More information is on the Thames Clippers website.

Help 853 continue reporting on public interest issues in Greenwich and southeast London – we are the only outlet regularly producing original journalism in the borough, and we can only do it with your funding.

Please join over 100 donors who use Steady, PressPatron or Patreon to give a little towards our costs every month. The money pays the bills, a wage for the editor and pays others to write for the site.

You can also buy the editor a coffee at Thank you.