Port of London Authority CEO, Robin Mortimer, sets out the importance of the River Thames for the capital and outlines how you can get involved in shaping its vision for the future.
Mr Mortimer said:
“As I come to the end of my first year as chief executive of the Port of London Authority (PLA), I am convinced that the River Thames has untapped potential for London and the south east: for trade, travel, leisure, sport and environmental stewardship.
That’s why we’ve launched a 12-month project to develop a Vision for the Thames over the next twenty years.
It’s important to understand where we’re starting from. The tidal Thames (95 miles from Teddington Lock to the North Sea) is home to:
- the UK’s second biggest port by tonnage of goods handled
- the country’s busiest inland waterway, carrying almost 10 million passenger trips and more than five million tonnes of freight (the latter keeping more than 250,000 lorries off the busy roads of the capital)
- iconic sporting events like the University Boat Race
All that, alongside more than 100 different species of fish, hundreds of seals, valuable and protected habitats.
We’re convinced there’s scope to do more, for the river to play a greater role in the life of the capital.
For more people to enjoy it, for more people to work on it. In just two years, the Mayor’s River Action plan vision has taken passenger trips from six million a year to almost 10 million.
So what could we achieve with a river wide plan for growing river use, access and environmental stewardship?
In late March we launched the Vision project with a six-week ‘call for evidence’, inviting people to answer the following questions:
- What do you value most about the tidal River Thames?
- What are your top three priorities for the future of the tidal River Thames?
- What would you like the PLA to be doing for the tidal River Thames?
This important first stage, closing on Wednesday, 6 May will help shape the agenda for a series of open forum sessions that will be run in May and June.
So what would I encourage you to do? Find out more, learn about the Thames today and, once you have, join in the debate. Have your say on the future of one of the world’s most famous rivers.”