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Importance of Thames underlined

The importance of the river Thames to the economy and life of the capital was emphasised today. Port of London Authority chief executive Steve Cuthbert highlighted the fact that the port terminals and facilities on the Thames handled over 51 million tonnes of cargo in 2003.

Speaking at the River Thames Society annual conference today, Mr Cuthbert reminded participants of some other key points about the Port of London today:

  • the Port generates over 35,000 full time jobs
  • it contributes £3.4 billion of value added to the London and south east economy each year
  • river borne trade keeps an estimated 400,000 lorry journeys off the roads of London each year

He also stated that over £1.3 billion was due to be invested in Port of London terminals in the next ten years. This is in addition to the estimated £650 million proposed investment by P&O in the London Gateway container and roro terminal project. Plans are also underway to bring some unused wharves in London back into cargo handling use and to improve the facilities for passenger cruise ships visiting London from overseas.

Mr Cuthbert concluded:

“The recent publication of the Mayor’s London Plan sets out the planning policies to ensure that the Thames remains the artery at the heart of London.”

For further information contact Martin Garside, PLA. Photographs of Steve Cuthbert and of trade on the river Thames are available on request. Tel: 020 7743 7915. Email: pressoffice@pla.co.uk 

Note to Editors:

The Port of London comprises over 70 independently owned terminals and port facilities, which handle a very wide range of cargoes. 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 Authority (PLA) is the port authority for 150 km (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.