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The Thames Vision

Consultation - Spring 2022

As a Trust Port, the Port of London Authority’s ethos is to pass the Thames on to future generations in a better condition than we inherited it. This is at the heart of Thames Vision 2050.  

The Thames Vision 2050 consultation is about shaping the future for the UK’s major river, home to the country’s largest port, busiest inland waterway and burgeoning centre for sport and recreation.

It is an opportunity to pause and reflect on how we create a better river.  Better as a place to trade and travel, better as a place to invest, to spend time together, to enjoy activities and to be inspired.  Better meaning cleaner and supporting the transition to a Net Zero economy. And better meaning a safe place genuinely inclusive for all, from any background. 

To get to this better future, we need to agree what actions need to be taken and who will need to work together to take them.  The near-term actions we agree through this consultation will play a key part in shaping delivery of the long-term goals we set for the tidal Thames.

We look forward to hearing from you and working together towards a better Thames in 2050.

Before proceeding to the consultation questions at the bottom of the page, please review the Thames Vision 2050 draft, created with the feedback from our summer 2021 initial stakeholder consultation
Before proceeding to the consultation questions at the bottom of this page, please explore the Thames Vision 2050 draft, created with the feedback received during our summer 2021 initial stakeholder consultation.

A Vision for the Thames in 2050

In 2050, our Vision for the tidal Thames:

Trading Thames

The river will be an essential cornerstone of the UK’s economy, central to supply chains and employment as the country’s largest port, progressively switching to Net Zero operations, and increasing connectivity to road and rail infrastructure. Technological innovation will be actively embraced, supporting smarter, more efficient businesses and expanding the transportation of light freight into central London as urban logistics transform.

Destination Thames 

More people will be living, working and relaxing on and around the Thames.  The river will be accessible to all, a national and international icon for the city, the country and our values.  There will be more jobs, more sporting and leisure opportunities and more visitors, drawn to the river as the best way to enjoy London and the Thames Estuary, its vibrant economy and its many attractions. Visitors will come to the Thames for unique recreational, sporting and cultural activities. Groups accessing the river will be truly representative of the local and wider communities.

Natural Thames

The Thames will be the cleanest it has been in generations, supporting more biodiversity and wildlife, balancing economic and natural capital value. It will be recognised for clean air, natural flood defence, capturing carbon and nutrients as a valued, thriving habitat, allied to the Net Zero drive.

To help achieve this Vision, we need your help. By responding to this Thames Vision 2050 consultation, share with us what you can do to help realise the full potential of the river.

Thames Vision 2050 Framework

Drawing on extensive research and dialogue, the refreshed Vision for the river is set around three themes for the trading, destination and natural river. Within these themes there are five priorities for action: safety, decarbonisation, resilience, technological change and inclusion. In combination, these will support the development of a safe, smart, sustainable and inclusive river Thames.

Details of the themes and cross-cutting priorities for action are:

The Themes

Trading Thames

The river will be an essential cornerstone of the UK’s net zero economy, remaining the country’s largest port, switching to net zero operations, and increasing connectivity to road and rail infrastructure. Technological innovation actively embraced, supporting smarter, more efficient businesses and expanding the transportation of light freight into central London as urban logistics transform.

Destination Thames

More people will be living, working and relaxing on and around the Thames. The river will be accessible to all, a national and international icon for the city, the country and our values. There will be more jobs, more sporting and leisure opportunities and more visitors, drawn to the river as the best way to enjoy London and the Thames Estuary, its vibrant economy and its many attractions.

Visitors will come to the Thames for unique recreational, sporting and cultural activities. Groups accessing the river will be truly representative of the local and wider communities.

Natural Thames

The Thames will be the cleanest it has been in generations, supporting more biodiversity and wildlife, balancing economic and natural capital value. It will be recognised for clean air, natural flood defence, capturing carbon and nutrients as a valued, thriving habitat.

Priorities for Action

Safety – The essential foundation for greater river use; enabling safe river operations is a prime PLA role.

Net Zero – Ensuring that the Thames contributes to the climate emergency response, delivering sustainable economic growth in a decarbonising economy, consolidating its position as a leading port and low carbon inland highway, using habitats to capture and store carbon.

Resilience – Infrastructure, systems and habitats are robust and able to continue through challenging events, including the impacts of rapid climate change.

Technological Change – This will range across alternative low and zero carbon fuels, smarter and more integrated information technology systems and the growing opportunities of automation; the Thames is recognised as a demonstrator for new technologies.

Access and Inclusion – Enhanced education to boost awareness and access to Thames opportunities, improving diversity and inclusion in employment and recreation; facilitating safe and appropriate access to the foreshore.

Supporting Research

Energy Diversity in the Tidal Thames
Spring 2022

Light Freight on the River Thames
February 2022

Active Thames Survey
Spring 2021

Port of London Authority Public Engagement
September 2021

Future Trade Through the Port of London
Spring 2021

Economic Impact Study
Spring 2020

Consultation

This consultation runs through March and April, closing at midday on Saturday, 30 April 2022. We are seeking your views on the questions set out on this page.

We will analyse and take in feedback gathered through this consultation, ahead of releasing the final Thames Vision 2050 in early summer 2022.

You can feedback to us in the following ways:

Consultation Events

Join us in person or online to learn more and share your feedback.

Online Public Meeting

This meeting took place on 24 March 2022. 

Video: Catch up now

Putney Public Meeting

This meeting took place on 29 March 2022.
London Rowing Club
Putney Embankment, London SW15 1LB

Drop-in Session

This meeting took place on 19 April 2022.
Museum of London Docklands
No1 Warehouse, West India Quay, London E14 4AL

Consultation Questions

The questions we are seeking your thoughts on are:

Themes

  • What actions do you think are needed for the success of the Trading Thames?
    What would you see as your role, or the role of your organisation in those actions?
  • What actions do you think are needed for the success of the Destination Thames?
    What would you see as your role, or the role of your organisation in those actions?
  • What actions do you think are needed for the success of the Natural Thames?
    What would you see as your role, or the role of your organisation in those actions?

Priorities for Action

  • Do you agree that safety should be a cross cutting priority and what innovations or actions would be like to see in this area?
  • Do you agree that the Net Zero transition should be a cross cutting priority and what innovations or actions would be like to see in this area?
  • Do you agree that resilience should be a cross cutting priority and what innovations or actions would be like to see in this area?
  • Do you agree that technological change should be a cross cutting priority and what innovations or actions would be like to see in this area?
  • Do you agree that access and inclusion should be a cross cutting priority and what innovations or actions would be like to see in this area?

General

  • What other actions will be key to delivering Thames Vision 2050?

Please share your thoughts via the online survey below.