Friday, June 21, 2019

Commercial and Passenger Vessels on River Thames Receive Grant to Clean Up Emissions

Half a Million Pounds to Help Cut Particulates and Nitrogen Oxides
Shipping News Feature
UK – There was a financial boost for those who live by, travel or work on or close to the tidal River Thames this week as the city's drive to clean the air continued with news of a grant worth half a million pounds was announced. The money, from the Mayor of London's Air Quality Fund to be supported by the Port of London Authority (PLA) and co-ordinated by the Cross River Partnership (CRP) will see up to a dozen commercial freight and passenger vessels adapted to cut emissions, including particulates and nitrogen oxides.

Full details of how operators can apply for modifications to enhance their fleet's environmental performance are due to be announced at Greening Inland Shipping, a major conference and exhibition to be staged by the PLA at The Crystal in Royal Victoria Dock, London, on 10 September, coinciding with 2019 London International Shipping Week (LISW). Full details of how to attend or exhibit at the conference are available on the PLA website here.

The event is one of the commitments made in the PLA's Air Quality Strategy, published in May 2018, the first ever to be produced by a UK port. Tanya Ferry, PLA environment manager, said:

"Protecting the environment is integral to our 2035 Thames Vision work to maximise use of the river for trade and recreation. Practical initiatives like this, working with businesses active up and down the river, from Teddington to the North Sea, are central to achieving our ambitious goals for maximising its social and economic potential.

Vessels using the tidal Thames currently account for an estimated 1% of total emissions across the capital, but this figure is projected to rise as standards for road vehicles become stricter and use of the river expands. The tidal Thames now carries more passengers and freight than any other inland UK waterway. This led to 250,000 fewer lorry movements on London's roads in 2016. Susannah Wilks, Director of Cross River Partnership said:

"Clean Air Thames will deliver tangible air quality improvements through the operation of cleaner vessels on the River Thames, which will benefit river users and riparian boroughs alike. Cross River Partnership is very much looking forward to working with the PLA, the City of London Corporation and partners on another project making London a nicer place to live, work and visit."