Thames cargo traffic to swell to 80 million tonnes in 20 years

  Apr 26--THAMES Vision, a 20-year development framework for London's river, forecasts that port trade could increase by up to 30 million tonnes over the next decade to 80 million tonnes in 20 years, after last year's volumes grew 10 per cent to 50 million tonnes.

  The news was unveiled at the Port of London Authority's (PLA) first port infrastructure meeting to discuss the road, rail, river and crossing connections needed to unlock such growth. The meeting was attended by shipping minister, John Hayes and deputy mayor of London for Transport, Val Shawcross.

  Commenting on the event, Mr Hayes said: "Improving road, rail and river transport links will significantly boost the connections between our ports and key markets. That is why we have launched a Port Connectivity Study to explore ways to improve our transport links and support economic growth for the next 10 years.

  "We are already making record investments in transport, with GBP15 billion (US$18.62 billion) on road schemes and over GBP40 billion on the rail network, and meeting with industry leaders is crucial in ensuring that the needs of our great ports are met."

  "The role of the meeting is to take a long-term look at the landside and river connections to get goods from terminals to customers and from manufacturers to the port for export," said PLA chief executive Robin Mortimer.

  "This was a really good first session, where we focused on the Lower Thames Crossing, the trading implications of leaving the European Union and the UK's freight strategy," he said.

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