New 150m pax London airport plan

A ‘Thames Hub’ vision conceived by the architects Foster & Partners and engineers Halcrow could see a new airport in the Thames estuary replace capacity-constrained London Heathrow.
Lord Foster, chairman and founder of Foster + Partners, today launched the self-funded proposal for the Thames Hub.
The vision comprises a new river barrier and crossing, and an international airport, shipping and rail complex, something which they claim represents a holistic vision for infrastructure development in Britain.
The estuary airport, capable of handling 150 million passengers per annum, thus enabling the UK to retain its global aviation hub status would be integrated within a logistics matrix that connects by rail the Thames Estuary Ports and the ports of Liverpool, Southampton and Felixstowe.
The plans also include a ‘spine’ which combines energy, communications and data running the length of the UK, fed by the Thames Hub.
Lord Foster, founder and chairman of Foster + Partners, said: “We need to recapture the foresight and political courage of our 19th century forebears if we are to establish a modern transport and energy infrastructure in Britain for this century and beyond. If we don’t then we are denying future generations to come. We are rolling over and saying we are no longer competitive – and this is a competitive world. So I do not believe we have a choice.”
Halcrow group board director, David Kerr, said: “As infrastructure specialists, our role is to support society by taking on the big issues that affect us all – water, transportation, energy, and creating places to live and work. Great challenges require bold solutions, which is why I believe our Thames Hub vision is critical to society and to the country’s economic prosperity. If we don’t sustain and invest in infrastructure, then it’s at our peril.
The other main components of the Thames Hub are:
• a new barrier crossing that extends flood protection to London and the Thames Gateway into next century. The barrier harnesses tidal power to generate carbon-free energy
• a four-track, high-speed passenger and freight orbital rail route around London, which links the capital’s radial lines, a future high-speed rail line to the Midlands and the North, the Thames Estuary ports, High Speed 1 (Channel Tunnel to London), and European networks
• a new utilities and data spine in the Thames Barrier, orbital rail line and high-speed networks, with applicability across the UK
• a comprehensive environmental management strategy that minimises the impact of development and provides opportunities to create significant new wildlife habitats to more than offset losses elsewhere. The project can also serve as the catalyst to reduce pressure on foreshore habitats from rising sea levels and storm activity

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