Could the Thames be a commercial artery again?

Could Old Father Thames once again be a highway for transportation? The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has said if so, it could ease road congestion in the metropolitan area.

The LCCI said that the Mayor of London should establish a temporary River Commission to explore better use of the riverine artery through London. The LCCI said that such as 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.”

“In effect, the Thames is an underused superhighway which flows through the heart of our capital, surely we should look to maximise its potential,” said chief executive of LCCI, Colin Stanbridge. “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.”

Right up to the 1960’s the Thames had been a major artery of London since before Roman times. If listened to the LCCI suggestion could once again enliven the river and make Central London look to the Thames as part of its commercial present as well as its illustrious past.

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