Our website uses cookies so that we can provide a better service. Continue to use the site as normal if you're happy with this, or find out how to manage cookies.


Safety firmly on the radar at Northfleet

A new £1.1 million radar tower to guide ships up and down the tidal River Thames, has been unveiled by the Port of London Authority (PLA) at Northfleet, near Gravesend in Kent.

Overlooking a particularly busy stretch of the river, the 49-metre high structure is topped by a state-of-the-art radar scanner and houses the latest low-energy navigational lights, CCTV and telecommunications technology.

It’s part of a 18-strong network of PLA radars that operate day and night to help vessels navigate their way in and out of the UK’s second biggest port – from cruise and container ships, to recreational boats of all shapes and sizes.

The facility is close to the new port infrastructure, Tilbury2, being developed by Forth Ports in Essex.

In 2018 freight handled at terminals on the river reached a ten-year high of 53.2 tonnes. The target in the long-term development plan for the river, the Thames Vision, is for this to rise to up to 80 million tonnes by 2035.

Robin Mortimer, PLA chief executive, said: "This project is a classic example of the largely hidden investment we make to keep the river operating effectively day in, day out.

"It’s key to the long-term Vision for the tidal Thames, keeping both our customers and the public at large safe when they are out on the river."

The construction of the mast was overseen by Nick Jordan, one of the company’s youngest engineers. Nick, from Canterbury, joined the PLA five years ago after graduating in civil engineering from the University of South Wales in Cardiff.

- ends –


Time-lapse footage is available showing the construction of the new mast over an 18 month period: https://youtu.be/EneJ0TcG0vc

For further information, please contact: Nick Tennant (07784 208874)