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13.03.2006

Diversity ensures stable year for Port of London

The diversity of cargoes handled at the different terminals on the Thames helped ensure the Port of London experienced an increase in total cargo handled in 2005. Overall throughput at London’s port facilities rose by one per cent to a total of 53.8 million tonnes.

Speaking at a gathering of London’s port community Simon Sherrard, Chairman of the Port of London Authority said “the strength provided by the diversity of our port enabled us to hold our position as the largest port in the southern part of the UK”.

Commenting on the proposed ‘London Gateway’ container port project, Mr Sherrard said:

“We are confident London Gateway will be a major part of the future of the Port of London. It is now nearly two years since the public inquiry and the Government has yet to give its final approval. It is common ground that an increase in container terminal capacity is essential to the future economic health of this nation and we therefore look forward to consent being given very shortly indeed.”

On the subject of cargo wharves closer to central London, Mr Sherrard welcomed Government backing for steps to ‘safeguard’ 50 port facilities in the GLA area from any redevelopment into non-port use: “We were delighted that the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister confirmed the safeguarding of these 50 vital wharves. This will help us to keep the Thames a busy and successful working river, with the benefits that will be brought to easing congestion on London’s roads.”

Commenting on London’s successful bid for the 2012 Olympics, Mr Sherrard said: “The Olympics provide the ideal opportunity for greater use of the Thames – both for the movement of materials required during the construction phase and for the movement of spectators and others involved during the Games.

“Providing a lasting legacy is one of the priorities of the Olympic bid. We must not miss this opportunity to create greater utilisation of the River on a long term basis.”

For further information contact: Martin Garside, Port of London. (Tel: 020 7743 7915).

Note to Editors:

  1. London is one of the top three ports in the UK and handles over 50 million tonnes of cargo each year. The Port of London comprises over 70 independently owned and operated terminals and port facilities, which handle a wide range of cargoes.
  2. The Port of London Authority is the port authority for 150km (95 miles) of the tidal Thames from the sea to Teddington. It provides navigational, pilotage and other services for ships using the Port of London.
  3. Photos of shipping activity in the Port of London are available on request.