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Deputy Mayor for Transport Names Latest PLA River Patrol Launch

Helen Alexander (left) and Isabel Dedring with PLA marine engineer Alan Cartwright onboard Barnes (click on image to enlarge)
Helen Alexander (left) and Isabel Dedring 
with PLA marine engineer Alan Cartwright onboard Barnes 
(click on image to enlarge)

London’s Deputy Mayor for Transport, Isabel Dedring, has officially named the last of four new safety patrol boats ordered by the Port of London Authority (PLA) as preparations for a busy summer on the river continue.

Barnes is the last of four new boats the PLA ordered at a cost of more than £2 million. The twin hull launches are made of aluminium and each weigh 11 tonnes. They were built by Alnmaritec in Northumberland following a five year PLA-led design and research project with Newcastle University to create a lighter and more fuel efficient patrol boat for the Thames.

Commenting at the event held at London Bridge City Pier the Deputy Mayor, Isabel Dedring, said:  

“This summer the world’s eyes turn to London and our great river will be the focus of a great deal of attention and celebration. An enormous amount of preparation is taking place to ensure we are ready including the introduction of the four new patrol boats and a substantial pier improvement programme that is set to be completed in time to host the Queen’s Jubilee river pageant and the Olympic torch relay.”

PLA chairman,  Dame Helen Alexander, said:

“This year is a terrifically exciting one for the river and the PLA. We’re proud that the river will be the centre for celebrations through the summer. Bringing Barnes into service is part of our preparation work. The Diamond Jubilee river pageant is going to see the largest single deployment of PLA staff and vessels ever. Every single one of our marine trained staff and all of our vessels - from launches like Barnes, to our tugs, small patrol vessels and salvage craft - will be on the river, helping to keep the event safe. 

“The events of this summer will show London and the river Thames at their finest. I am so pleased that Isabel Dedring has been able to name Barnes, celebrating the work we are doing with the GLA and the wider river community to increase the use of the river for both passengers and freight.”

The tidal Thames is home to the UK’s second largest port, a growing commuter route, the country’s busiest inland waterway for freight and a centre for sporting activity.