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.
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.
A short film about the tidal flow at Tilburyness
Watch the launch of London Titan, the Port of London Authority’s (PLA) new £7 million ship which has been built to keep the Thames clear of obstructions, marked and safe for anyone to use. The is river is one of the busiest in the UK, and welcomes vessels from HMS Illustrious to Thames Clippers, cruise ships to rowing boats. The ship was launched at Manor Marine’s shipyard in Portland, Dorset on 21 February 2015.
New Year’s Eve is the busiest night of the year on the Thames for passenger boats, with many people getting afloat for a great view of the fireworks. The Port of London Authority co-ordinates river operations for the event, with two launches on the river closing it to traffic between Westminster Bridge and Charing Cross Bridge between 2340 on 31 December 2013 until 0020 on 1 January 2014. VTS Officers at our Thames Barrier Navigation Centre oversee the operation – this is their story of the night.