A proposed £50 billion Thames estuary airport would bring together rail, freight logistics and aviation shifting more movement of goods to rail and reducing road congestion, according to architect Lord Foster, one of the promoters of the scheme.
Lord Foster welcomed reports that the government is considering the case for an estuary airport, and the extra airport capacity that it can provide, when it consults in March on options for retaining the UK’s aviation hub status as part of the nation’s aviation strategy.
Then team behind The Thames Hub proposals is made up of Foster + Partners, Halcrow and Volterra. The Thames Hub would includes a new £20 billion, 150 million passenger estuary airport, a four track orbital rail line and utilities spine and a new Thames crossing and barrier.
“We are aware that there is some confusion between our Thames Hub vision and the Mayor of London’s Shivering Sands proposals, which have become known as ‘Boris’ Island”, said Foster.
“The Mayor has expressed his support for the Thames Hub proposal, as have Douglas Oakervee and Bridget Rosewell, who developed the Boris Island proposals, and who are now part of the Thames Hub team.
“We believe that the economic case for the Thames Hub is compelling as Britain is already losing out to expanding European hubs. Our proposal comprehensively addresses the infrastructure needed to maximise the advantages of a new airport. The Thames Hub and proposed new airport project is part of a wider UK-wide initiative to bring together rail, freight logistics, aviation, energy generation and transmission, flood protection and regional development.
“It will shift more movement of goods to rail and reduce congestion on our road systems. Recognising the synergies between these different strands, it reaps many benefits and economies from their integration.”
It is estimated that The Thames Hub would take 16 years to build at a cost of some £50bn. The airport would costs £20bn, orbital rail £20bn; barrier crossing and tidal power generation of green energy to power the airport £6bn; and improving infrastructure £4bn.