About the PLA and What we do
The Port of London Authority works to ensure navigational safety along the tidal Thames, sharing its marine, environmental, planning and other expertise to promote use of the river and safeguard its unique marine environment. The Thames is home to the UK’s second biggest port, busiest inland waterway for freight and passengers, and a centre for sporting events. Our operations cover 95 miles of the River Thames. We work to keep commercial and leisure users safe, protect and enhance the environment and promote the use of the river for trade and travel.
London Titan is our new, £7 million mooring maintenance vessel. Titan has been specially designed to work along almost all of the 95 miles of the tidal Thames we look after. Her cranes fold flat so she can negotiate bridges as far upriver as Richmond, but open out to lift up to a massive 11 tonnes at 20 metres reach. At the same time, Titan is robust enough to operate in the outer estuary. Titan’s duties include: mooring maintenance; laying and recovering navigation buoys; hauling wreckage from the riverbed; supporting diving operations; and small scale plough dredging operations.
The tidal Thames is a vibrant habitat for wildlife, home to 125 species of fish, hundreds of seals and 300,000 overwintering birds every year. Find out more about what’s in the river and the work we do to look after it, including habitat management, driftwood collection, Thames Barrier navigation and our partnership work with organisations including the Environment Agency, RPSB and Thames21.
A brief introduction to what’s in the tidal Thames and the work we do to look after its environment. The river is home to 125 species of fish, hundreds of seals and 300,000 overwintering birds every year. In 92 seconds we cover this and our work including habitat management, driftwood collection, Thames Barrier navigation and much more.
From our 2014 Stakeholder Forum, a film looking at the highlights of 2014 on the Thames (and for the PLA), plus how the work we do creates value for society and looking ahead to shaping a Vision for the development of the tidal Thames over the next 20 years.
The PLA’s work on the Thames spans safety, environment, planning expertise and bringing people together. This short graphical film shows how our work creates value for society.
Kotug tug pirouette, welcoming Viking Stars's maiden Thames call.
Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer, HMS Defender, on the Thames in Gravesend Reach, leaving the port after a week-long stay on PLA moorings at Greenwich. April 2015.
Cruise ship, Marco Polo arriving at London International Cruise Terminal, which hosts more than 60 cruise ship calls a year. Marco Polo guided to and from her berth by PLA pilots, with vessel movement overseen from port control. April 2015
The PLA works with environmental charity, Thames21, supporting their volunteer Thames foreshore clear ups. We provide baskets and cages which volunteers fill with litter from the river, later taking them away for appropriate recycling or disposal of the rubbish. We also provide ‘back office’ support, preparing Thames21's accounts, providing advice and support on HR matters.
The 95 miles of tidal Thames is at the heart of life for many millions of people. As we kick off a new project to develop a Vision for the future of the river, we asked a range of people what the river means to them.