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Minister for London: River Thames Central to London’s Growth


Robin Mortimer, Gavin Barwell MP, Jackie Doyle-Price MP
Robin Mortimer, Gavin Barwell MP, Jackie Doyle-Price MP

Gavin Barwell MP, Minister of State for Housing and Planning and Minister for London is calling for greater integration of the River Thames in the growth of London.

The Minister joined Port of London Authority (PLA) chief executive Robin Mortimer to discuss how the Thames Vision, the 20 year growth plan for the river, will help connect communities with the river.

The river Thames is one of the world’s most recognised landmarks, and has greater capacity to be used to access leisure activities like walking the Thames Path, rowing and sailing, and for commuter services and moving freight.

London’s population is expected to grow to more than 11 million by 2050. With significant development expected in East London and the Thames Gateway, the river is ideally placed to play a key role in supplying construction materials, helping to take lorries off the road and improve air quality.

The PLA wants to see the river planned into developments from the start, with accessible waterfronts for walking and sports, combined with passenger piers and freight facilities.

Gavin Barwell MP said: “We need to be sure new developments connect us to the river, allowing people to walk unhindered along the Thames path, maintaining this wonderful open space and bringing greater access to everyone.

“We could also benefit from further infrastructure to allow our services like waste and construction materials to be transferred from the land to the water and piers for people to use the river to commute to work.”

Robin Mortimer said: “People love the river for its iconic open views, access to nature and sporting activities and it is important that as new houses and business space is built, we utilise this space to get the most out of it for everyone.”



Tom Conroy, Communications Manager - 07951 748904 or tom.conroy@pla.co.uk


Port of London

  • The PLA works to ensure navigational safety along the tidal Thames, sharing its marine, environmental, planning and other expertise to promote use of the river and safeguard its unique marine environment.
  • The tidal Thames is one of the UK’s busiest waterspaces and is home to:
    • the country’s second biggest port by tonnage of goods handled;
    • busiest inland waterway for passengers and freight;
    • centres of sporting excellence; and
    • events including the University Boat Race, Great River Race and Tall Ship festivals.

Thames Vision

The Thames Vision is looking to the transformational potential of new developments by linking new communities with the river through:

  • Riverbus services at purpose built piers with modern facilities, bringing the opportunities for these new communities to be destinations for visitors. For example allowing people to take advantage of new cultural offers (such as the first Estuary Festival, which took place this year).
  • Access to the Thames path to connect residents with the other Thames communities, culture, heritage, history and environment. For example, providing access to potential eco and heritage tourism at Rainham and Mucking.
  • Marinas to be included in new developments, thereby bringing sport and leisure opportunities as well as adding life and interest to the waterfront of new developments.
  • Watersports clubs to help communities be healthy and active and make the most of the ‘blue park’ on their doorstep. Section 106 funds can be used to support this.

For full details of the Thames Vision Visit: http://www.pla.co.uk/assets/thevisionforthetidalthames.pdf