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Ahead of its time

Further to the letter from Nick Walsh (NCE 28 February), those readers with long memories will not only be familiar with the proposal for a third London airport to be sited on the reclaimed Maplin Sands, but prior to that, in November 1966, my proposal for building it on the reclaimed Goodwin Sand.

This proposal was published in the Consulting Engineer and was then taken up by the press, southern TV and some MPs.

Although over 40 years ago, it proposed rail links to the then proposed Channel Tunnel and a high speed route to London. So you see that engineers are not short on progressive thinking or innovation.

Needless to say, the government was not seized with the value of long term investment so neither Maplin nor the Goodwin sites were built, but Stansted was instead - cheaper and more damaging to the existing land and environment.

GE BRATHELL (F), 13 York Close, Kings Langley, Herts WD4 9HX

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