Bid to save Dome ferry

CRISIS TALKS are to be held tomorrow to try and save the river bus service on the Thames linking Greenwich and the Millennium Dome, after the company promoting the scheme failed last week to raise sufficient funds on the stock market.

London Transport executives will examine new proposals by White Horse Ferries, the company that won the tender for the service, to finance the operation through corporate sponsorship as opposed to its original plan to raise the cash on Ofex. White Horse needed to raise pounds 1.5m from shareholders - but only managed pounds 500,000 when the deadline expired last week.

Holiday Inn Friday promised to sponsor one of the ferries, but industry insiders say the sponsorship proposals could flounder on restrictions on advertising placed by the Millennium Commission that oversees the Dome.

If the deal collapses, London Transport will need to select another tender quickly to have the service up and running in time for the millennium. The transport body will also be under political pressure to avoid a potentially embarrassing episode when Parliament reassembles in the autumn for the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, who had promised the service as part of the controversial pounds 750m Dome project.

Meanwhile, City Cruises, the company which won the second tender to run the service linking the Greenwich site with central London, is expected to sign its contract with London Transport at the end of the month. The company announced last week the five 520-seater luxury ferries will be built by Vosper Thornycroft in Southampton for pounds 5m. City Cruises, owned by the East End millionaire, Ron Beckwith, is already one of the two biggest leisure boat operators on the Thames along with Catamaran Cruisers, owned by the French services conglomerate Sodexho.

The scheme for a new Thames water bus service as part of the millennium legacy is the latest attempt to ferry commuters along the river.

The most recent was the ill-fated Riverbus, originally underwritten by the original developers of Canary Wharf, Olympia and York, which collapsed in 1993.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Angel Di Maria is shown the red card
Roger Federer after his win over Tomas Berdych
Life and Style
News in briefs: big pants in 'Bridget Jones's Diary'
fashionBig knickers are back
James Milner is set to sign for Liverpool this week despite rival interest from Arsenal
sportReds baulk at Benteke £32.5m release clause
The controversial Motor Neurone Disease Association poster, featuring sufferer Michael Smith, has drawn a series of angry complaints
newsThis one has been criticised for its 'threatening tone'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Guru Careers: Communications Exec / PR Exec

£25 - £30K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a highly-motivated and ambitious Comm...

Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst to join a leading e-...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral