Port of London Authority






> Tidal Thames start for
   round-the-world race

> PLA chief executive
   echoes Lord Mayor’s
   calls to reimagine

> Radar cabin lift

> Battling women rowers
   do us proud

> Safety campaign targets
   vulnerable river users

> London Titan arrives
   on the Thames

> Fish survey shows
   Thames is a river
   of life

> Port recycling helps
   big cats and critters


> Aiding River Thames
   safety via the seaside

> Tilbury bosses launch
   long-term partnership
   with wheat traders

> New work barge
   on the Thames


Why would two of our navigational engineers be
on top of an offshore pile
near the seaside town of Margate? Navigational
safety on the Thames is
the answer.

Project manager Steve Strickland and technical
support engineer Dave
Barnard are pictured
installing a radar level
sensor on top of a
PLA-owned pile, about 500 metres from the Turner Contemporary art gallery in Margate, Kent. This historic seaside town marks the easterly limit of the PLA’s
95-mile long jurisdiction on
the tidal Thames.

The high-tech sensor is
designed to record data
about tidal conditions and beam it to a nearby communications tower,
which then transfers it in the blink of an eye to our port control HQ in Gravesend.

That vital information, which is constantly updated in real time, is used to manage passage planning and aid the safe navigation of vessels entering and leaving the
Port of London.

It’s also used for river users and our hydrography department. They need tide level information to accurately plan any surveying work.

Indeed, on the day Steve
and Dave are installing the sensor, one of the
hydrographic team stood
by, patiently waiting and watching as our engineers
safely did their work atop
the 40-metre high structure.

Steve, PLA project manager for navigation systems engineering,
says: “The new sensor provides back up to the existing tidal gauge on the pile, which is a pressure sensor. The new one is clever because it is solar powered and
uses radar to
monitor tide
levels. It also
requires less
and of course
no battery
We’re doing 
a test, to 
see how well
it works.

“The ordinary pressure gauges we rely on get bashed around a little and have to be replaced every now and again. We can monitor them remotely. We’re hoping that these radar sensors will need much less maintenance. We’ll soon be installing another gauge on the pile and hopefully it’ll do what
we want it to do.”







Port of London Authority, London River House, Royal Pier Road, Gravesend, Kent DA12 2BG. +44 (0) 1474 562200