Thames Set For Major Growth and Improvement over The Next Two Decades
Use of the River Thames could be transformed over the next 20 years, according to the Port of London Authority (PLA).
The PLA has been developing the Thames Vision with members of the public, river stakeholders and other organizations across London and the South East for the last ten months. The Goals and Priority Actions that have emerged are at the heart of a plan to develop the Thames over the next 20 years.
The Thames Vision Goals and Priority Actions report sets out six Goals and 24 Priority Actions that need to be taken to achieve the goals. Among the goals are: the busiest ever Port of London; 20 million passenger trips a year; more goods moved by river; the cleanest river since the Industrial Revolution; and more people than ever enjoying sport and recreation.
“When we started this project we were sure there was untapped potential in this great river,” said PLA chief executive, Robin Mortimer. “What we’ve found, working with hundreds of people and more than 70 organizations, has surpassed our expectations. The cargo port the biggest it’s ever been and doubling the number of passenger trips on the river are great goals to aim for. We can combine this with environmental improvement.”
The Goals and Priority Actions report sets out what needs to be done, by the PLA and others, to make the most of the Thames. Among the goals set out include handling 60 to 80 million tons of cargo each year, as compared to the 44.5 million tons handled in 2014. Another goal is for more goods and materials to be moved between wharves on the river, taking 550,000 truck trips off the region’s roads.
The 24 Priority Actions include: improving the main navigation channels; reactivating safeguarded wharves; a long-term pier strategy, including new piers at Thamesmead, Erith, Greenhithe, Swanscombe, Grays, and Tilbury; development of sport opportunity zones along the river; and completing the Thames Tideway Tunnel as planned.