PLA has a vision for the future

Date: February 19, 2016 By: Gemma Heath in River Thames News
PLA has a vision for the future

The Port of London Authority (PLA) has drawn up plans for the next 20 years of the tidal section of the Thames. It sees increased use of the river, with more passenger trips, leisure users and freight capacity, turning it into a bustling hub once again.

The River Thames was once the busiest port in the world with docks from Tower Bridge all the way through to Tilbury. Use of the river has dwindled since then, but the Thames Vision Project from the PLA aims to reverse this.

The Thames of the future

The plans see the amount of annual passenger trips, including London boat hire excursions, doubling to 20 million, as well as more tourists getting onto the river, an increase in leisure use and the freight service improving. PLA figures show that the river adds £4 billion a year to the UK economy, which could rise with increased use of this stretch of water.

The growth of London to the east of the city, with many riverside properties, could provide a route for more commuters to use the Thames. This would include enhanced links to other forms of transport, including underground and tube services, to make the river more useful to Londoners as well as tourists.

The vision from the PLA also looks at improving the facilities for leisure users, including tourists and those who enjoy the sporting and recreational side of boating.

There is much scope to increase the use of the River Thames, from more commuter services and Thames luxury charters, to modern facilities and increased freight capacity. The 20-year vision looks at what the river could offer by 2035, and will need strategic partnerships and the building of common goals to realise these ambitions.