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Shipping Minister's First Port Call

PLA Duty Port Controller, Simon Malins, briefing the Shipping Minister, John Hayes MP,
in London Port Control

Newly appointed shipping minister, John Hayes MP, made his first visit to a port since taking up his new role when he visited the Port of London Authority’s (PLA) Gravesend base today (Wednesday, 23 July).

PLA chief executive, Robin Mortimer with Shipping Minister, John Hayes MP

The Thames is home to: the second biggest port in the UK: busiest inland waterway for freight and passengers: and a centre for sporting events.

Mr John Hayes’ visit focused on port operations. From a PLA harbour launch he saw tankers, container ships and bulk carriers in port, loading and unloading essential UK exports and imports. In the London Port Control Centre, he was briefed on an operation that oversees the safe and efficient movement of 230,000 commercial and leisure vessels on the Thames every year. It is the UK’s largest Vessel Traffic Services area, covering over 600 square miles.

Shipping and Ports Minister John Hayes MP said:

“I am proud of the UK’s maritime history and to have been recently appointed by the Prime Minister as Minister responsible for Shipping and Ports. The ports sector that is vitally important to Britain’s future. As the new Shipping and Ports Minister I believe it is essential to hear first-hand the effects the decisions Government makes have on the people who provide these first class services which drive the economy of the UK. I wanted to see for myself the hard work and investment the Port of London Authority is putting into one of the busiest Ports in the UK. I was deeply impressed at what I have seen and look forward to working closely with the industry in the future.”

Commercial vessels calling on the Thames provide links to over 80 countries around the world. Port operations based on the Thames generate full time jobs for more than 40,000 people and generates over £3 billion for the UK economy annually.

– ends –

Notes to Editors:

The PLA manages navigational safety and related matters on 95 miles of the tidal Thames from west London, through the capital, and out to the Thames Estuary and the sea
More information: www.pla.co.uk; @LondonPortAuth
Film about the Thames and the PLA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E--InuV5lNI&index=3&list=UUGINid7L_2S4EOKotCozzHA


Alistair Gale
Port of London Authority