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05.08.2005

Safeguarding the Future of London's River

Safeguarding the future of London’s river

The future of the Thames as a working river has taken a major step forward with the Government giving the go ahead to the Mayor of London’s plans to protect wharves. This means the wharves recommended by the Mayor and the Port of London Authority (PLA) for protection are now legally safeguarded for cargo-handling use.

The Mayor and the PLA submitted a detailed assessment of wharves in London and their future potential for handling cargo earlier this year. Central to this is use of the ‘safeguarding’ policy, which protects key riverside wharves from redevelopment into non-port use.

Extra wharf capacity is needed to handle predicted increases in river borne freight. In particular, wharves all along the river are needed to give industries greater flexibility and help reduce the number of trips by heavy goods vehicles on London’s roads.

These recommendations have now been accepted by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Government Office for London has issued formal planning directions to protect the wharves. This updates existing government safeguarding directions and means:

25 wharves east of the Barrier have been ‘safeguarded’ for the first time

25 wharves west of the Thames Barrier are to remain ‘safeguarded’

PLA chief executive Richard Everitt said: "This announcement by the Government will help ensure the Thames remains a successful working river. The decision to safeguard wharves east of the Thames Barrier is a very welcome step forward. It means that there will be working wharves at key points on the River – securing the Port of London’s key position in the year’s ahead."

Notes to Editors

1. See also the Mayor’s press release "Government endorses Mayor’s plans to secure future of London’s river" at http://www.london.gov.uk/view_press_release.jsp?releaseid=5404

2. The report submitted to the Government can be seen at http://www.london.gov.uk/mayor/strategies/sds/related_pubs.jsp

3. For media enquiries for the Mayor please call Matthew Neylan in the Mayor's Press Office on 020 7983 4020

4. Further information on the PLA from Martin Garside, Port of London Authority (Tel: 020 7743 7915. Mob: 07736 362385). Email: martin.garside@pla.co.uk

5. The PLA 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. 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.