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PLA Videos

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.


Highlights 2014, how we create value and looking ahead to the Thames Vision

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.

How we create value for society

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

Kotug tug pirouette, welcoming Viking Stars's maiden Thames call.

HMS Defender on the Thames

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.

Marco Polo arriving at Tilbury

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

Thames21 Foreshore Clear Up

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.

What the Thames Means to Me

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.

Tilburyness tidal flow diagrams

A short film about the tidal flow at Tilburyness

London Titan launch February 2015

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.

Busiest Night of the Year

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.