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31.10.2019

Legislation update to reflect changing times on the river

A preliminary, six-week consultation is underway on an update to legislation that enables the Port of London Authority (PLA) to do its job, promoting and protecting the tidal River Thames.

The proposed changes require the PLA to submit a Harbour Revision Order (HRO) to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO).

Ahead of that, the PLA is canvassing all those with an interest in the river for their views so that they can be fully reflected in the final submission.

The original legislation that created the PLA in 1908 was updated in the 1968 Port of London Act.

Various one-off amendments have been made since the last substantial review in 1992, but a more thorough overhaul is now necessary, to fully reflect the challenges of managing an increasingly busy river in the 21st Century.

Julie Tankard, the PLA’s chief financial officer, said “The Harbour Revision Order is about making sure our statutory powers and duties are appropriate for the modern world.

“As with all walks of life, technology is rapidly changing day-to-day life on the river. We have to update the legislation to reflect that. It’s also an opportunity to ensure our decision-making process is open and transparent.

“The process is still in its early stages, but from the outset we are keen to hear the opinions of everybody linked to the river.”

The PLA has issued a simple guide setting out the proposed changes:

https://server1.pla.co.uk/assets/simplifiedharbourrevisionorder.pdf

The document has been published on the company’s website, along with the full draft HRO and a marked-up version of the 1968 Port of London Authority Act, indicating where changes are required. There’s also a detailed note explaining what the changes involve.

Comments on the changes can be sent to the PLA via HRO@pla.co.uk, or by post HRO (Admin, Port of London Authority, London River House, Royal Pier Road, Gravesend, Kent, DA12 2BG).

Experts from across the PLA will be available to answer questions at a special drop in session to be at in the Flowers Room at the IET (2 Savoy Place, London) on Thursday 14 November (3.00 pm to 7.00 pm).

To ensure that the right specialists are on hand to answer all queries, those planning to attend are asked to register their interest in advance.

The closing date for responses is 5.30 pm on Thursday, 5 December 2019.

The PLA will review all submissions to consider what changes to the proposal need to be made, in light of the feedback received.

Once a formal application is submitted to the MMO, there will still be opportunities for the public to contribute to the HRO process.

ends

For further information please contact Nick Tennant on 07784 208074.

  • The PLA works to ensure navigational safety along the tidal Thames, stretching 95 miles from Teddington to the North Sea. It shares its marine, environmental, planning and other expertise to promote use of the river and safeguard its unique marine environment.

  • The tidal Thames is one of the UK’s busiest waterways and is home to the country’s second biggest port by tonnage of goods handled.