Policy 7.25 Increasing the use of the Blue Ribbon Network for tourism

Policy 7.25 Increasing the use of the Blue Ribbon Network for passengers and tourism



A  The Mayor will seek to increase the use of the Blue Ribbon Network for passenger and tourist river services, and supports the principle of additional cruise liner facilities on the Thames.

Planning decisions

B  Development proposals:

a  should protect existing facilities for waterborne passenger and tourist traffic. Applications which remove existing facilities should be refused unless suitable replacement facilities are provided

b  which provide new facilities for passenger and tourist traffic, especially on the central London stretch of the River Thames will be supported

c  which provide improved facilities for cruise ships in London will be supported.

LDF preparation

C  Within LDFs boroughs should identify locations that are suitable for passenger, tourist or cruise liner facilities. 

Supporting text

7.73  On the navigable parts of the network, the Mayor wishes to ensure that uses of the water and land alongside it are prioritised, within sustainable limits, for transport purposes – both passenger and freight. By reducing demand for other forms of surface transport, particularly on roads, the benefits of water transport link through to other key aspects of this Plan, notably climate change mitigation and improving the quality of life.  For too long these uses have been marginalised and compromised by competing developments. In some cases higher value developments have squeezed out landward facilities, in other cases waterborne developments such as permanent moorings have restricted the speed or berthing abilities for transport craft.  Recent years have seen substantial growth in the use of passenger services on the Thames. This followed investment in piers by Transport for London and investment in vessels by private operators. The Mayor is keen to see continued growth to maximise the use of the Thames for river travel. Transport for London’s River Action Plan outlines a number of specific measures including the establishment of new piers along the Thames and the delivery of additional capacity at a number of Central London piers specifically to address congestion.

7.74  In 2009 the GLA and LDA commissioned research into cruise liner facilities[1]. This demonstrated that a suitable terminal facility in London would be expected to attract a significant increase in cruise ship visits. This would also boost the profile of London and help to diversify the economy. In practice there are a limited number of locations where a cruise terminal would be viable. The Mayor will work with strategic partners including appropriate boroughs to identify suitable opportunities over the period of the Plan.

[1]     The Tourism Company. An assessment of current and future cruise ship requirements in London. LDA, June 2009

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