20 SEPTEMBER 1940, Page 3

Passenger-Services on the Thames

London's great natural highway, the Thames, so much neglected during the last century as an artery for London passenger traffic, is coming into its own again in these days of emergency. At the time when other lines of traffic between dock-land and the centre of London are liable to obstruction-or interruption the broad highway of the river is undisturbed, and Londoners have been travelling to and fro between Westminster Bridge and Woolwich by a service of boats organised by the Ministry of Transport and the London Passenger Transport Board. Mr. A. P. Herbert, who has so long advocated a systeni of water-buses on the Thames, will be rejoiced to know that Thames pleasure launches and other vessels have been pressed Into service, and are now carrying full loads of passengers to the river-side wharves at the Tower, Bermondsey, Wapping, the West India Dock, and other places on the way to Woolwich. For a thousand years the Thames played its part as the essential factor in the origin and progressive life of London. Today the river, " liquid history," as Mr. John Burns so aptly called it, is neither a luxury nor an accessory, but a necessity.