Thames Deckway - Anna Hill FRSA - RSA

Cycling infrastructure is London’s hot topic and one option is faster, safer, greener – and floating


  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Fellowship

London has recently boasted an average of 600,000 cycling trips each day and cyclists now make up almost a quarter of all central London rush-hour traffic at 24%. It’s little wonder that Boris Johnson is frantically rolling out miles of Cycle Superhighways all over the city.

The River Cycleway Consortium (RCCL) believes more can be done for cycling and that these solutions can be integrated with other initiatives to prepare London for the future. We are crowdfunding a feasibility study to support the launch of The Thames Deckway, a new, floating cyclist and pedestrian route on the Thames river.

The Thames Deckway would be a clean air corridor, reducing the users exposure to polluted roadways, which are causing increasing concerns. The Deckway would also include technologies to harness power from the tide, sun and wind to generate renewable energy.

Meanwhile, the UK government is busy slashing budgets to green energy and technology projects. But many around the country are making clear their support for renewables and challenging these plans.

With this explosion of positive support for renewable energy, RCCL are inviting participatory citizenship and giving the vote to the people through our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, which is currently live until 21st December 2015.  The campaign aims to raise £175,000, which will fund business development studies for the Thames Deckway.

With a world class team behind our project, Thames Deckway has the potential to be a global breakthrough, combatting London’s problematic roadway congestion, cyclist and pedestrian health and safety, and the effects of climate change.

Arup Engineers, Hugh Broughton Architects and advised by Kemp Little LLP and Consulting join Founding Director and RSA Fellow, Anna Hill and her Co-inventor and Founder, David Nixon, to form RCCL, bringing a wealth of expertise from each of their industries.

Projected to be built in stages, the Thames Deckway could eventually stretch eight-miles, from Battersea to Greenwich. This is a futurist solution to several real-time, fundamental problems in London: traffic congestion, cyclist and pedestrian safety, pollution and climate change.

The Thames Deckway aims to encourage people to take a short bike ride or stroll along the Thames, away from traffic and pollution, instead of driving or using public transport. If cycling is a more attractive transport option that is faster, greener and safer, then there is a real opportunity to reduce inner London’s traffic problems and the associated health and safety risks.

The Thames Deckway corridor will include measures to ensure user safety, making it viable for everyone, including children and the elderly. Separate lanes for cyclists and pedestrians will be implemented, with the Deckway limited to cyclists only during peak commuter times. Sensor technology will provide 24/7 live updates on traffic flow, allowing lanes to be assigned according to demand and usage.

Out of peak hours, a more leisurely Thames Deckway will be available for both cyclists and pedestrians to enjoy, with floating cycle stations, cafés and stalls, all powered by 100% green energy produced by the Deckway itself.

Profits would be generated from the rent of these stalls, ticket sales to access the Deckway and the potential sale of excess energy, presenting a unique opportunity for investors who RCCL intend to fund the project following a crowdfunding campaign. The £600m price tag has been a point of opposition for some critics, but following this plan, RCCL do not plan for the Thames Deckway to cost taxpayers a penny.

User costs will be decided during feasibility studies. The Thames Deckway could potentially be free for users, or as little as £1.50, comparable to a single Transport for London bus journey in London. Like the new TfL system, Thames Deckway fares could be purchased through a contactless card system.

The Thames Deckway could very well be just the ticket to breathe new life into the river that was used as a major transport artery for hundreds of years before. Historically, the Thames has always played a major role in the social life of Londoners.

Notably during several extreme winters, the Thames became host to frost fairs held on the frozen river. The last recorded incidence of these celebrations took place in 1814, a timely reminder 200 years on that we must adapt to the effects of global warming.

From 19th Century frost fairs to modern day floating Friday commutes, the Thames may not have quite given all it has to offer, just yet.

To see more from River Cycleway Consortium Ltd and keep up to date with the Thames Deckway, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and contribute to our crowdfunding campaign.

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