A framework for developing greater use of the Thames over the next twenty years has been launched.

The Thames Vision - the first exercise carried out on such an extensive scale - sets out six goals for increased use of the tidal river.  They include the developing the busiest-ever Port of London, seeing more goods being moved by river, a doubling of the number of passenger trips and greater participation in sport and recreation.

The Vision has been developed by the Port of London Authority (PLA) and river stakeholders plus input from London’s public over the last 18 months, 

Actions already underway include: recruitment of additional PLA pilots to meet growing customer demand; the Thames Skills Academy taking on its first group of students; work on Thames Tideway Tunnel starting in earnest; and a study into the levels of participation in sports on the river and its banks.

The Thames Vision Goals in full are: 
·         The busiest ever Port of London, handling 60 – 80 million tonnes of cargo a year.
·         More goods and materials routinely moved between wharves on the river – every year over four million tonnes carried by water – taking over 400,000 lorry trips off the region’s roads.
·         Double the number of people travelling by river – reaching 20 million commuter and tourist trips every year.
·         Greater participation in sport and recreation on and alongside the water.
·         The river becoming the cleanest since the Industrial Revolution, with improved habitats and awareness of heritage.
·         A riverside which is a magnet for ramblers, historians, artists and others, whether living nearby, on the river or travelling from further afield.

Organisations which have helped develop the Vision include the Port of Tilbury, DP World London Gateway, the Greater London Authority, MBNA Thames Clippers, City Cruises, Livett’s Group, the RSPB, British Rowing and many more. 

Speaking at the launch, London’s new Deputy Mayor for Transport, Val Shawcross, said: “This blueprint for the future of the Thames can make an important contribution to the mayor’s aim of encouraging greater use of the river for the transport of passengers and freight.

“There has been a significant increase in river passengers but we will be looking at what else can be done to increase those numbers. We want everyone with a stake in the Thames to come together and help guarantee the success of this vital waterway.”

PLA chairman Christopher Rodrigues said: “Work on the actions is already well underway and I’m excited to see the progress we can make between now and next spring when we have our first report back of progress.”

The Thames is already the UK’s busiest waterway for passengers and freight, home to the UK’s second biggest port and a hub for tourism, recreation and sport. 

Access a copy of the Thames Vision with a full list of the priority actions at:

Watch a video of the Thames Vision aims here:

Story dated July 4th 2016