UK's Foster + Partners chairman and founder, Lord Foster, launched (02-Nov-2011) proposals for the 'Thames Hub – An Integrated Vision for Britain' (BBC/London24/Travelmole/The Times, 02-Nov-2011). Foster + Partners, Halcrow Group and Volterra Consulting have worked together on a self-funded study to produce a detailed vision for the Thames Hub. The plan involves the construction of Thames Estuary Airport, capable of handling 150 million passengers p/a, three times the capacity of London Heathrow. The plan would feature four 4000m runways and a high-speed rail link which would link the airport to London in 30 minutes. The scheme would cost at least GBP50 billion and would be constructed on partially reclaimed land. The plan also includes a new Thames barrier to offer flood protection and generate carbon-free energy from the tide. The plans have been criticised by environmental groups while the leader of Medway Council has dismissed the plan as "daft". While the plan clashes with London Mayor Boris Johnson’s own plans for an airport in the Thames Estuary, a spokesman for the Mayor said: “The Mayor is delighted that a distinguished figure like Lord Foster agrees that the answer to Britain’s aviation needs lie in the (Thames) estuary". Lord Foster was the architect behind London Stansted and Hong Kong International Airport. [more - original PR - Foster + Partners][more - original PR - Friends of the Earth]
Foster + Partners: "Britain can no longer trade on an inadequate and aged infrastructure. A fast-growing population and an evolving global economy demand that the quality of the UK’s infrastructure be improved and its capacity increased dramatically. The study describes proposals for a Spine which combines rail, energy, communications and data running the length of the UK. The Spine is fed by a Thames Hub, which brings together a new river barrier and crossing, an international airport, and a shipping and rail complex. Recognising the synergies between rail, freight logistics, aviation, energy and its transmission, flood protection and regional development, it reaps the benefits of their integration." Company Statement, 02-Nov-2011.