Members of Future of London, the capital’s leading regeneration, housing, infrastructure and economic development network, took to the Thames recently to discuss how the river can add the greatest value for communities. (more…)
A strategically important protected wharf in East London is set to return to operation after its acquisition by the Port of London Authority (PLA). (more…)
The Port of London Authority (PLA) announces two new non-executive directors have been appointed to the PLA board: Judith Armitt has been appointed by the Secretary of State for Transport (in accordance with the Port of London Act); and Darren James has been appointed by the PLA Board. (more…)
The Cleaner Thames campaign partners – Port of London Authority, Thames21 and Tideway – took to the Woolwich Arsenal foreshore to clear it of nearly two tonnes of rubbish and litter that has ended up in the river. (more…)
Big Data possibilities in Maritime
Data management is poised to transform the maritime industry. By collecting and analysing data in real time, maritime organisations can generate insights that significantly improve operations and address key challenges they face.
Port of London Authority creates low emission discount
The Port of London is set to become the first UK port to recognise ship owners committed to progressively improving their environmental performance, as part of a wider approach to reduce the port’s environmental impact. (more…)
A streamlined approach to regulating development in the River Thames has been agreed by the MMO and Port of London Authority.
The ‘Thames Concordat’ is a new set of principles both organisations will follow in cases where both the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and Port of London Authority (PLA) have a regulatory remit. It aims to limit duplication for businesses seeking to carry out development in the Thames. (more…)
Local councils throughout the UK have been invited to support a campaign to raise awareness of ‘island nation’ Britain’s dependence on Merchant Navy seafarers. (more…)
The London Tilbury Seafarers Centre, which now offers a new 24-hour lounge for seafarers after a major refurbishment programme, was officially reopened today (15th July 2016) by Port of London Authority (PLA) Chairman Christopher Rodrigues.
Seafarers can spend up to nine months at sea away from family and friends for months at a time, confined on their ship and surrounded by thousands of miles of open waters. Once they reach port, they need time off the ship and to get in touch with home.
On the Thames, the London Tilbury Seafarers Centre offers mariners this change of environment, a place to relax, access Wi-Fi, call or email family members, speak with a chaplain or just catch up on their favourite TV shows. Every year the Centre welcomes over 6,000 seafarers, with many more reached on the estimated 1,500 ships that the Chaplains based at the Centre visit annually.
The London Tilbury Seafarers Centre is owned and managed by Centres for Seafarers, an ecumenical collaboration of four Christian maritime mission societies: Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest (QVSR); The Sailors Society; Mission to Seafarers; and Apostleship of the Sea.
Alexander Campbell, Centres for Seafarers chair, explained why the 24-hour lounge is needed:
“We made the change after our Chaplains saw more and more seafarers sitting outside the Centre when it was closed, often in the cold and rain late at night, just to pick up the Wi-Fi signal.
“With the support of donors and volunteers, we’ve been able to make the change so that we are able to provide our essential services, whenever our users want to access them.”
The upgrades were made possible through a £25,000 grant from the Merchant Navy Welfare Board and a £1,500 contribution from the Port of Tilbury and the PLA towards the cost of a new TV and sofas for the lounge.
Christopher Rodrigues, PLA chairman said:
“As an Island nation with 95% of our goods moving by sea, we rely on seafarers who supply the UK with food, clothing, fuel, cars, and furniture day and night, 365 days a year.”
“We need to offer them a welcoming place to unwind, catch up with family, speak with a chaplain, and even do their shopping from. That’s why the opening of the refurbished centre, with 24-hour access is so important.”
The new facilities have been designed with London themed art, so that those who are only in port for a few hours, still have a chance to experience a flavour of the capital’s sites.
Robert Jones, Merchant Navy Welfare Board chairman said:
“The new and improved 24 hour facilities at the London Tilbury Seafarers Centre provides important welfare services with shelter, access to Wi-Fi, coffee, TV and friendly supportive people, creating an all-round pleasant experience for visiting mariners”
The London Tilbury Seafarers Centre is funded entirely by voluntary contributions from the local port, shipping communities, and Christian organisations within the London area, the PLA provides funding of £30,000 a year; the Port of Tilbury provides a further £12,000.
London’s Deputy Mayor for Transport, Val Shawcross CBE has welcomed the launch today (Monday, 4 July 2016) of the Thames Vision, a framework for developing greater use of the Thames over the next twenty years.
The Thames is already the UK’s busiest waterway for passengers and freight, home to the UK’s second biggest port and a hub for tourism, recreation and sport. Developed by the Port of London Authority (PLA) and river stakeholders over the last 18 months, the Vision sets out six goals for increased river use. They include the busiest ever Port of London, more goods being moved by river, double the number of passenger trips and greater participation in sport and recreation.
Speaking at the launch, London’s new Deputy Mayor for Transport, Val Shawcross, said:
“This blueprint for the future of the Thames can make an important contribution to the Mayor’s aim of encouraging greater use of the river for the transport of passengers and freight. There has been a significant increase in river passengers but we will be looking at what else can be done to increase those numbers. We want everyone with a stake in the Thames to come together and help guarantee the success of this vital waterway.”
Joining the 200 guests at the launch were 23-year-old MBNA Thames Clippers master, Joy McGlinchey and Cory Environmental apprentice lighterman, Shane Pink, aged 20. Joy started work with MBNA Thames Clippers five years ago and last year gained her Boatmasters Licence; Shane has worked on the Thames for the last two years.
“More river use will mean more skilled jobs for young people. It’s great to see Joy and Shane here today,” added Val Shawcross. “This Vision is about them as an integral part of London’s future.”
Achieving the targets in the Vision will demand partnership working between the organisations who have helped develop the Vision including the Port of Tilbury, DP World London Gateway, the Greater London Authority, MBNA Thames Clippers, City Cruises, Livett’s Group, the RPSB, British Rowing and many more.
PLA chairman, Christopher Rodrigues said:
“I’m delighted that we have such a large group here to officially launch the Vision. It underlines the importance that we have placed throughout on involving river users and other stakeholders in the development of the Vision. The Vision draws together all our collective ambitions for the Thames. Your support and commitment to taking forward the actions identified will be critical to the Vision’s success.”
“Work on the actions is already well underway and I’m excited to see the progress we can make between now and next Spring when we have our first report back of progress.”
Actions already underway include: recruitment of additional PLA pilots to meet growing customer demand; the Thames Skills Academy taking on its first group of students; work on Thames Tideway Tunnel starting in earnest; and a study into the levels of participation in sports on the river and its banks.
The Thames Vision Goals are, in full:
- The busiest ever Port of London, handling 60 – 80 million tonnes of cargo a year.
- More goods and materials routinely moved between wharves on the river – every year over four million tonnes carried by water – taking over 400,000 lorry trips off the region’s roads.
- Double the number of people travelling by river – reaching 20 million commuter and tourist trips every year.
- Greater participation in sport and recreation on and alongside the water.
- The river the cleanest since the Industrial Revolution, with improved habitats and awareness of heritage.
- A riverside which is a magnet for ramblers, historians, artists and others, whether living nearby, on the river or travelling from further afield.
Access a copy of the Thames Vision with a full list of the priority actions at: www.pla.co.uk/ThamesVision