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Saudi Arabian Transport Delegation visits Port of London Authority

On 30th September Dr Mansour Al-Turki, Deputy Minister of Planning & Information in the Saudi Ministry of Transport, marked International Maritime Day with a visit to the Port of London Authority’s headquarters at London River House, Gravesend, as the guest of PLA CEO Mr Robin Mortimer.

Mr Mortimer explained to his Saudi guests the range of responsibilities of the PLA and the broad scope of their operations along a 95 mile stretch of waterways. The Port of London has recently become the UK’s busiest port and the shifting sands at the entrances to the river present a permanent challenge for the PLA as they track the movements of the shipping channels. Mr Mortimer explained the PLA’s Thames Vision which anticipates a shift to greater use of the Thames for deliveries and passenger traffic, taking the pressure off London’s busy roads, while also making the river more accessible for leisure and ensuring that its ecology is protected.

Dr Al-Turki thanked Mr Mortimer for the presentation and commented on the complexity of the PLA’s task. He explained the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and the Saudi Green Initiative, both of which share similar goals to the PLA: increasing use of waterways for trade and leisure whilst ensuring that the marine environment is protected and that ambitious goals to reduce carbon emissions are met.

Mr Mortimer took his guests on a trip up the Thames on one of the hydrographic survey vessels and the Saudi delegation was able to see at first hand the functioning of the vessel and the busy traffic on the waterway.

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