River Thames attracting new investment in cargo handling terminals and vessels

11/15/11 2:54 PM

The 95 miles of tidal river, running from Teddington Lock to the North Sea, is home to the UK’s second biggest port, busiest inland waterway and growing tourist and commuter passenger routes.

The PLA has announced that the number of new development schemes coming forward is unprecedented in recent years.

The single biggest investment on the river is DP World’s £1.5 billion London Gateway container port scheme in Essex which is expected to create over 12,000 jobs. Other investments highlighted at the event were in:

  • ships – Cory Environmental’s new fleet of tugs and a new £3.75 million City Cruises passenger vessel
  • port facilities – including the Port of Tilbury’s Northern Expansion project, CdMR’s jetty development at Purfleet and Ford’s jetty development at Dagenham
  • piers – the extension of Tower Pier and recently opened St George’s Pier
  • on land – Greenwich Promenade being redeveloped ahead of next year’s Olympics.

“The river is sustaining a massive level of investment,” said PLA chairman, Dame Helen Alexander. “This is long term investment, creating good quality, skilled jobs. The introduction of new passenger boats continues to sustain the growth in commuter and tourist travel on the river, underpinning the recruitment and training of skippers, deckhands and support staff.”

“The commitment of Crossrail and Thames Water to use the river for their projects is going to trigger a major initiative to train the crews for the barges that will move the goods and materials. Just as important, it will help keep hundreds of thousands of lorries off our congested roads. In short, it’s great news for the economy, for jobs and the environment.”

The PLA works to ensure navigational safety along the tidal Thames, promote use of the river and safeguard its unique marine environment. The organisation shares its marine, environmental, planning and other expertise, working in partnership with people looking to use the river whether for trade, travel, recreation or pleasure.

Neil Berry