WATER taxis would ferry passengers up and down the Thames if an ambitious plan becomes reality.
The vision includes creating nine piers which would double up as pick-up points, including ones at Canvey, Purfleet and Grays.
Southend and Gravesend piers would also feature in the estuary network which would run from Southend up to Greenwich.
Top London planners Terry Farrell Associates devised the plan after being commissioned to come up with ideas by Thames Gateway.
The firm produced the Parklands Vision, a 67-page document which championed using the river for transport of passengers and freight.
It also suggested the estuary’s marshes and woodlands be made more accessible to the public.
Donna Riddington, Parklands assistant co-ordinator, said: “Water transport would open up the Thames Gateway. It would allow new industry and leisure relations between either side and bring closer neighbours who at the moment seem very far away.
“It harks back to how the river used to be used.”
Nigel Holdcroft, Southend Council leader, praised the idea for its potential to cut congestion in south Essex and said it would fit in perfectly with the council’s plans for the future of the pier.
He said: “In a consultation about how the public wanted to see the pier developed they said they wanted a use that was linked to either a maritime use or was environmentally friendly. Something like this would obviously be consistent with that.”
Ray Howard, Castle Point councillor, loved the idea.
He said: “I have always advocated that the River Thames is not used enough. It’s a great asset.”
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