Thames freight volume rises by 40% as Thames Vision strategy starts to bear fruit
A 40% surge in the volume of freight moved between wharves on the Thames is reported in a new Port of London Authority (PLA) update on progress towards delivering the Thames Vision, an ambitious plan to maximise use of the river, PLA said in its press release.
The use of the river to move freight to destinations in the city is a boon for the transport network of London and the South East. Last year 3.4 million tonnes was moved on the river, just 0.6 million tonnes short of the Vision target of four million tonnes, which would remove 400,000 lorries from the region's congested roads.
At the same time, the amount of international cargo passing through terminals on the river rose by 10% to 50 million tonnes. The long-term target for port trade is between 60 million tonnes and 80 million tonnes of cargo a year, growth which will be founded on ongoing investment in new port facilities, including Forth Ports' Tilbury2 development and DP World's London Gateway container port.
Both inland freight and port trade goals are part of the Thames Vision, launched by the PLA two years ago, following extensive consultation with river users and other stakeholders. The 20-year development framework sets six targets for maximising use of the river from trade, travel, sport and recreation, alongside embedding the Thames at the heart of the city's cultural offer.
The PLA's chief executive Robin Mortimer briefed the annual meeting of the Thames and London Waterways Forum (17 October) on advances in delivering the Vision over the past 12 months.
Organisations involved in delivering the Vision include: the Port of Tilbury, DP World London Gateway, the Greater London Authority, Transport for London, MBNA Thames Clippers, City Cruises, Livett's Group, the RSPB and British Rowing.
About the PLA
The PLA works to ensure navigational safety along the tidal Thames, sharing its marine, environmental, planning and other expertise to promote use of the river and safeguard its unique marine environment. The tidal Thames is one of the UK's busiest waterways and is home to the country's second biggest port by tonnage of goods handled.