London’s Deputy Mayor for Transport, Val Shawcross CBE has welcomed the launch of the Thames Vision, a framework for developing greater use of the Thames over the next twenty years.
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. Developed by the Port of London Authority (PLA) and river stakeholders over the last 18 months, the Vision sets out six goals for increased river use. They include the busiest ever Port of London, more goods being moved by river, double the number of passenger trips and greater participation in sport and recreation.
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. More river use will mean more skilled jobs for young people… this Vision is about them as an integral part of London’s future.”
Achieving the targets in the Vision will demand partnership working between the organisations who have helped develop the Vision including the Port of Tilbury, DP World London Gateway, the Greater London Authority, MBNA Thames Clippers, City Cruises, Livett’s Group, the RPSB, British Rowing and many more.
The Thames Vision Goals are:
· The development of 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 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.