Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Halcrow and Foster+Partners reveal plans for Thames Hub

Consultant Halcrow and architect Foster+Partners have been collaborating on a self-funded £100,000 study to produce a vision for a Thames Hub involving rail freight connections, a 150M passenger airport, a tidal energy barrage and a new flood protection barrier.

The vision spans the next 50 years and echoes previous work heralded by London mayor Boris Johnson on plans for redeveloping the Thames Estuary including a new island airport. Former ICE President Doug Oakervee and architect Sir Terry Farrell have both been spearheading this work.

The Halcrow/Foster+Partners and an initial assessment of the proposals will be formally released next month and is supported by renowned economist Bridget Rosewell, chairman of Volterra Consulting and founder member of The Thames Estuary Research and Development Company.

“These visionary proposals are far from future fantasy,” said founder and chairman of Foster+Partners Lord Foster. “They are both essential and down to earth.

“When you look at the eastwards thrust of London’s infrastructure, with the Channel Tunnel and the Olympics, you can see how it would be possible to create a 24-hour airport. This move would greatly improve the quality of life for Londoners by reducing pollution and improving security. It would also allow London to compete with rapidly expanding airports in Europe and the Middle East. The arguments are extraordinarily persuasive and the precedents are also compelling. More than 10 years ago Hong Kong built what was then the world’s largest airport at Chek Lap Kok, an island reclaimed from the sea - in just four years.”

“The Thames Hub would provide a major economic boost for Kent and Essex, with the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs over a number of years and provide noise and air pollution relief for London’s population,” said Halcrow group board director David Kerr. “The proposals would make a significant contribution to the UK’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions.

“If the UK is to remain globally competitive, these proposals need to be seriously considered.”

Readers' comments (4)

  • I

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • It is an inescapable fact that today's investments in infrastructure are largely concentrated in the south east of England. This leaves the remainder of the country, larger by far in area and population, to suffer glaring under investment and, therefore, a much less promising future. Surely, in the name of logic, urgent measures are required to correct the imbalances that are only too clear to see. To underpin the agrument, take into account expenditure on Cross Rail, The Olympic Games, The Thames Gondola etc. The economic centre of the country is becoming too concentrated in the London area and that is unhealthy and unsustainable.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • David Hall

    (shame to see this in the Sunday Times before it appears in NCE)

    It's got to be worth looking at in more detail. Combining several instructure solutions is smart, but does it make it too complex?

    For many, however, the issue will be getting through London ... do 150m passengers want to fly from east of London?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • And what about the thousands of off airport jobs provided by a considerable number of companies which are located around LHR because that is what their businesses require? Are they all to be disposessed and told they must incur the immense cost of relocation? Are all the workers to be relocated too? Where do the proponents of the estuary airport propose that all this relocation should be located and, perhaps more significantly, on whom do they propose the costs should fall? The logic of the airport, per se, may have its attractions, but it is the colateral issues that will be the determinant and, for the moment, these seem to be left aside. Never mind David Hall's very important point! Is this an airport for Britain or for Europe?

    Peter Fells M[Retd]

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.