London Chamber Suggest Thames Could Be A 'Highway' Easing Road Congestion

The Mayor should establish a temporary River Commission to explore how to make better use of the River Thames a leading business group said today.

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said such a body could have a brief to look at greater moving of freight and construction material by river thereby helping to ease congestion on the capital’s roads.

The call was made as part of LCCI’s response to the Mayor’s Transport Strategy which proposes to move more freight off London’s streets and onto the River Thames.

Chief Executive of LCCI, Colin Stanbridge said:

“In effect, the Thames is an underused superhighway which flows through the heart of our capital, surely we should look to maximise its potential.

“As London continues to grow and more infrastructure is built it makes sense to ease some of the congestion on our roads.

“TfL is already working with Network Rail and the Port of London Authority to move freight off the streets and a River Commission could take this work to the next level, inviting views from interested parties

LCCI believes that a River Commission could operate within an agreed time remit, taking evidence from all interested parties and producing a final report of practical recommendations.

Currently 90% of all freight in the capital is moved by road although some major construction projects have already made use of the river, demonstrating further possibilities.

These include Crossrail which has seen more than 3m tonnes of excavated material taken away by river, saving half a million truck trips on London’s roads.

Source: LCCI