Stop the pier!
Stop the pier!

Campaign Summary:

Alongside local river clubs, I am helping to lead a campaign to oppose plans for an 80-metre passenger pier at the new stand at Fulham Football Club’s stadium. The pier would be a stopping point for the Uber ferries and for ferries of supporters on match days. If the proposed pier and clipper ferry service go ahead it would make the river so dangerous that other boats would not be able to use it. Many local river clubs would be forced to close, including several local youth clubs who carry out amazing work supporting a diverse cohort of children from nearby communities. The Boat Race would also be threatened, especially because of the reduced ability to train in advance of the race. I support more use of the river, but this proposal will decrease use of the river for sport and leisure. 

I have carried out many actions for this campaign including: holding a campaign meeting for all river clubs, helping to start a campaign petition which is now over 17,400 signatures, speaking in the House of Commons Chamber about the campaign, meeting with the Minister for Sport, Tourism, Heritage and Civil Society, writing letters to and meeting with many organisations ranging the Port of London Authority to Sports England, and releasing press releases which received extensive coverage in national news outlets such as the BBC and the Times.  

Campaign Overview: 

At the beginning of the campaign, I held a meeting at Ranelagh Sailing Club for all the local river clubs to share their views. Sports captains and coaches in all the clubs along the river agreed that the ferry will be too unsafe to allow any access to the river at the same time, with the high risk of a fatality.   

There are around 4000 members across 41 clubs along this stretch of the river. Many of those 4000 members use this stretch of the river every day. There are also at least 30,000 participants in rowing races in the first quarter of the year.  

Approximately 1,400 children from clubs and rowing centres near Fulham Football Club use that part of the river several times a week. Young and learner members would be at increased risk of collision with the large ferries if these plans go ahead.

The sailing and rowing youth clubs who carry out amazing work and support local children and predict that they would be forced to close if the pier went ahead. This includes Fulham Reach Boat Club, an award-winning charity that specialises in bringing a diverse group of individuals onto the river. They help 14 local state schools get access to the river, with more that 60% of users female and around 50% from ethnic minority backgrounds. Fulham Reach’s CEO has stated that “There is simply no way we can safely operate these sessions in the vicinity of this jetty and, in particular, the Uber Boats commuter service”. 

The Boat Race share the concerns of the local river clubs. The Chair of the Boat Race Board, Tim Senior, said “The proposed construction, at the start of The Championship Course, would negatively impact the historic annual Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge universities and the training of the crews on this stretch of river would be seriously impeded, with added wash and danger from the river traffic using the pier.”  

As it stands, the application is still in pre-consultation phase, and Fulham Football Club have yet to submit a planning application to Hammersmith and Fulham Council or to the Port of London Authority. Both would need to agree the proposal for it to go ahead. We hope that our campaign has done enough to raise awareness of the huge negative impact of the pier and deter Fulham Football Club, but we stand ready to oppose the plans if the applications are submitted. 

Please find a link below to the campaign page on Ranelagh Sailing Club’s website for further information regarding the impact of the pier: 

Campaign Actions:

Please see below further details of some actions I have carried out as part of the campaign: 

I spoke about this issue in the House of Commons and I also met with Minister for Sport, Tourism, Heritage and Civil Society to discuss the campaign and put forward the campaign’s arguments. 

There has been extensive press coverage of the campaign since it began. Please see some examples of this below: 

The Campaign petition garnered 5000 signatures in 1 day and is now on over 17,400 signatures. 

There is widespread opposition from river users and local residents on both sides of the river. Please see a link to the petition below: 

Upwards of 13 local river using clubs have given their support to the campaign so far, as have other key stakeholders such as the British Rowing Council and the Boat Race. Many of these organisations have provided supportive statements and also attended the campaign meeting.  

I met with the Harbourmaster and planning team at the Port of London Authority, the CEO of Fulham Football Club, and the CEO of Wandsworth Council to discuss the campaign and share the concerns of the river users. 

I have written letters to, amongst others, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, the CEO of Sport England, the Fulham Supporters Trust, the Leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council, the Leader of Richmond Council, the CEO of Wandsworth Council, the CEO of Fulham Football Club, the CEO and Chair of the Port of London Authority, Leonie Cooper AM (Merton and Wandsworth representative on the London Assembly), and the Deputy London Mayor for Transport.  

I held a briefing meeting for local MPs, where I spoke about and discussed the pier proposal and the campaign with other local MPs and their staff.  

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