In 1996, the TLS co-ordinated a project called Thames Connections – a potential Millennium Bid project designed to forge greater inter connectivity between different sites situated along the Thames. Although this funding bid was ultimately unsuccessful, enhancing the ways that different sites are linked has been a keen goal of the TLS. This includes both physical and intellectual connections and importantly fosters an appreciation of the places in between the main honey pot locations. The TLS has also been actively involved in proposing and improving all manner of leisure activity in the Thames corridor.
TLS Waterspace and Visitor Strategy
A TLS Travel plan Network was established to bring together those organisations that own or manage the attractions and open spaces along the River Thames in order to plan how sustainable visitor travel planning options and other visitor related enhancements can be achieved through joint measures. In 2010 an Arcadian Thames Destination Travel Plan was published that identified the ways that visitors find out about any given place, plan their trip, arrive, and subsequently move about and understand the area. The ways that enhancements to both off-site activities (such as visitor guides, websites and joint ticketing) as well as physical improvements to infrastructure on the ground (such as accessible new footpaths, signage, cycling facilities, dry routes or river crossings) are set out.
- Joint marketing and tourism initiatives
- The promotion of the Arcadian Thames as a term to describe the river corridor between Hampton and Kew
- Publication of a Waterspace and Visitor Action Plan
- Promotion of recreational use of the Thames corridor
- Promotion of the river corridor as a way to improve healthy living
- Promotion of identified clusters of activity – gateways
- Understanding the journey through the landscape
- Improving legibility and access to pedestrians and where appropriate cyclists
- Improving the interconnected network of footpaths, rivers crossings and cycle routes
- Assistance with events such as the Great River Race and other water related festivals.
- Improvements to interpretation and signage
- Forging greater links with Kingston university
Achievement and Success
- Publication of the groundbreaking „Accessible Thames Walking Guides‟ setting a new standard for providing accessibility information to visitors.
- Worked in partnership with Richmond Bridge Boat House to support the training of young people in traditional boat building and wood crafting skills. The skills learnt by the young people have subsequently been used to promote river based activity. In 2008 the TLS raised the funds for a jolly boat to be constructed by Grey Court School
- Have promoted the river for active sport, leisure recreation, sustainable transport and productive employment. Endorsing a policy of maintaining a vibrant working river with functioning boat building workshops, ferries and trip boats.
- Purchased the rights to operate the Isleworth Ferry – 2012
- Publication of the Waterspace and Visitor Action Plan in 2007
- Publication of a series of Arcadian Thames walking leaflets – ongoing
- Publication of 16 specialist information leaflets for the Arcadian Thames – ongoing
- Publication of the Treasures by the Thames leaflet – 2005 and 2010
- Establishment of the Arcadian Thames Travel Plan Network
- Installation of a trip boat stop at Twickenham – 2010
- Monitored cycle use on the towpath
- Promoted the installation of dry routes to be used in times of flood
- Installation of 14 interpretive panels
- Advised on the location of directional signage in all four boroughs
- Created new and improved cycle routes along the towpath between Kingston and Teddington Lock. Working with the Environment Agency, and London Boroughs of Kingston and Richmond to make Teddington Lock bridge cycle accessible.
- Worked with Transport for London to promote access to the river using sustainable transport by the production of Cycling the River Thames