It is critical that the Thames is seen as part of London's future - not just part of its history.

The message from Port of London Authority chairman Christopher Rodrigues (below) came at an open forum for companies and organisatioons connected with the tidal river.

At the meeting - the equivalent of an AGM - the new chairman said the PLA's slogan, Custodians of the River, had been adopted to illustrate how the authority was working in partnership with a whole variety of public and private organisations.

The forum was held as the annual report showed that passenger numbers had hit around 10 million a year - with an aim to double it. Freight last year was over 45 million tonnes with an estimated potential to reach 60-80 million tonnes. Inland freight amounted to 2.7 million tonnes and is expected to get a boost by the movement of spoil from the Tideway Tunnel and the London Underground Northern Line extension.

The latest survey shows planned investment of over £1 billion in Thames facilities over the next five years.

The tidal Thames has also seen the arrival of ultra large container ships to London Gateway and a visit of the largest cruise liner ever seen on the Thames.

The final version of Thames Vision, the biggest survey on the future of the river, is expected this summer.

Other points to emerge from the meeting (pictured) included:

  • Safeguarding surviving wharves is vital if freight trade and passenger traffic is to increase as predicted.
  • A new code for stand-up paddlers is currently being drawn up following similar guidance for rowers on the river.
  • A Cleaner Thames campaign, urging Londoners not dump rubbish in or near the river, is helping make the waterway its cleanest since the Industrial Revolution.
  • General bye-laws for the river are currently being reviewed.
  • A meeting is expected soon with Sadiq Khan, the new Mayor of London. As earlier reported by River Thames News his policy for the Thames formed part of the manifesto for his succesful campaign.
  • Efforts will be made to increase the number of leisure and residential moorings.

Link to PLA website

Story dated May 11th 2016