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New Thames vision unveiled

Thames Tideway Tunnel

A new vision for the River Thames has been unveiled, which aims to see the Port of London handle up to 80m tonnes of cargo a year.

The 20-year plan, put together over an 18-month period by the Port of London Authority (PLA) and river users, includes plans for more river use, as well as plans to better protect the river environment – the Thames Tideway Tunnel being a key element.

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.”

The Thames Vision Goals are for the Port of London to handle 60m to 80m tonnes of cargo a year, the river used to transport more goods between wharves, doubling the number of people travelling by river to reach 20m trips a year, more sport and recreation alongside the river, and making the river its cleanest since the Industrial Revolution.

Readers' comments (1)

  • It is now a year since the Port of London Authority launched their Thames Vision and while I welcome the fact that the PLA had produced their document I believe that an opportunity had been missed. The PLA’s Vision is, perhaps understandably, the result of wide consultation and drafting by committee; the downside of this approach is that the end result lacks anything that could be described as ‘visionary’; the document is more akin to a business plan.
    I have therefore produced an alternative Thames Vision which approaches the task from a different perspective. It starts by identifying twelve challenges that the custodians of the river face over the next 25 years. These challenges range from a successor to the Thames Barrier to river crossings in the East, plastic waste pollution and passenger and freight transportation. My Thames Vision then considers what a holistic solution to these multiple challenges might look like.
    Elements of this new Vision have been proposed previously but the interconnection of the various components to provide an overarching solution to the challenges ahead is new. I believe that there are distinct advantages to be had by designing London’s future flood defences to not only do their primary job but also to facilitate bridge crossings, an increase in freight handling, enhanced passenger services and environmental improvement of the river. I hope that this new Thames Vision will prompt debate about the benefits that might be achieved from adopting a holistic view of the river’s future. My alternative Thames Vision can be found at

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