Monday, December 14, 2015

The PLA's Thames Vision

Today the PLA opened a consultation on its Thames Vision, looking at how the river will be used over the next 20 years.

As you might expect there are goals (6) and action items (24) but I checked and there is no mention of consultant speak like "forward looking" or "strategic objectives".

It sounds pretty good - the goals include: the busiest ever Port of London; 20 million passenger trips a year; more goods moved by river; the cleanest river since the Industrial Revolution; and more people than ever enjoying sport and recreation.

The approach to sports and recreation is to focus activity on selected "sport opportunity zones", in particular: from Kew Bridge to Richmond, Putney Bridge to Chelsea, and east of Greenwich.

Hmmm.... what about between Putney and Mortlake? I understand that's a patch rowers are pretty keen on.

Lots of different types mucking about are covered, with:

more rowing, kayaking, canoeing and stand up paddle boarding at Kew – Teddington; more kayaking at Putney – Chelsea; and more kayaking as well as sailing at Greenwich – Crossness, particularly in Gallions and Barking reaches. Further east, there are opportunities for more yacht clubs serving  sailing and motor boating as well as kayaking, and for rowing and paddle boarding in Benfleet Creek.

Interestingly no mention of more sailing around Putney, you know, this sort of thing:
Which brings me on to water quality - and more good news here too. To be precise the action item is: Water quality improves to ‘good’

So not very good or excellent, and the key action is the infamous Thames Tideway Tunnel, a super-sewer to be dug below the Thames itself. This has follow on consequences, such as the development of new wharfs at Hurlingham (for the waste from that tunnel) and others such as in Battersea for soil removed by the Northern Line extension.

A lot to digest but it does sounds pretty positive, the Thames at a heart of the growing London, connecting east and west, old and new, business and leisure.

For anyone with something to add, the consultation is open until 15th February 2016 and available here.

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