River Thames: Transport

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 15th July 2008.

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Photo of Sir David Amess Sir David Amess Conservative, Southend West

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has for promoting greater use of the River Thames for (a) passenger and (b) freight traffic; what estimate he has made of the amount of (i) passenger and (ii) freight traffic on the River Thames in each year since 1990; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Jonathan R Shaw Jonathan R Shaw Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Marine, Landscape and Rural Affairs) and Minister for the South East), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Environment Agency is working with Sea and Water, the Inland Waterways Advisory Council and the Association of Inland Navigation Authorities to further the potential for the growth of freight across their waterways.

The Environment Agency promotes the River Thames as a leisure destination through a tourism marketing partnership under the River Thames brand. It promotes passenger boats as a leisure experience and an alternative form of transport through this partnership.

The Environment Agency is the navigation authority for the non-tidal River Thames (source to Teddington) and registered the following number of passenger boats for use on the non-tidal Thames from 1990 to 2008.

1990 67
1991 64
1992 69
1993 69
1994 62
1995 63
1996 65
1997 69
1998 65
1999 60
2000 61
2001 60
2002 58
2003 58
2004 57
2005 58
2006 57
2007 55
2008 58

The Environment Agency started monitoring passenger boat movements through locks (traffic) in 2004. The figures are shown in the following table:

2004 4,853
2005 12,602
2006 14,118
2007 14,314

The Environment Agency does not specifically monitor freight traffic as this is currently negligible on the non-tidal Thames.

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