Contractors World UK & Ireland
|2011 Volume 1 Issue 8|
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• GT Access Takes UK’s First 15 m Hinowa Booms
• Snorkel UK Appoints PLP Lift Trucks As Regional Dealer
• A-Plant to Merge Lion Trackhire and Eve under New Name
• Lendlease have renewed their framework agreement with Human Recognition Systems.
• RPS Appointed for GWR Exeter Depot Expansion
Thames Estuary Airport - A proposal worth fast tracking - page 3 of 3 >>>
More than an airport, the proposal includes a new Thames Barrier to protect the city of London from rising sea-levels and storm surges - and (roll mouse over image) high speed rail links blended into the countryside.
The Halcrow and Foster+Partners Thames Hub vision is supported by renowned economist Bridget Rosewell, chairman of Volterra Consulting and founder member of The Thames Estuary Research and Development Company (TESTRAD).
Government begins to take interest
Foster + Partners, Halcrow and Volterra – the team behind proposals for the Thames Hub, which includes a new estuary airport, a Thames barrier and a UK-wide utilities and transport Spine welcomed Chancellor George Osborne’s statement on the government’s intention to look more closely at aviation capacity.
Speaking on behalf of the team, Lord Foster, founder and chairman of Foster + Partners, said:
“We welcome the government’s decision to consider airport capacity as part of the National Infrastructure Plan. 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.
Recognising the synergies between these different strands, it reaps the benefits of their integration.
Illustration of how the proposed airport would link directly to highspeed rail services, not only to London but Paris, Brussels, etc.
“We are committed to working with government and wider industry stakeholders to put in place the transport connections Britain needs to encourage growth, job creation and trade with the rest of the world, particularly the emerging economies.
This is an opportunity to reassert Britain’s role as a global hub and an international gateway. The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement today is very encouraging and a step closer to achieving this goal.”
Halcrow director, David Kerr, said: “Over the last few weeks we have met a large number of public and private sector stakeholders, across a range of infrastructure sectors, and have received widespread support and enthusiasm for the Thames Hub proposals.
“Initial discussions with investors have shown that there is interest in supporting the project through its planning, design, construction, and operation and maintenance phases. With an appropriate political and planning framework, this is a project that can be delivered.”
(© Images and illustrations courtesy of Foster + Partners)
"But you can-not take a high-speed train to Beijing or Sao Paolo. High-speed rail can only abstract a maximum of 10 per cent of Heathrow’s current traffic; and if we continue with our zero-growth approach we will do serious long-term damage to the economy.
Twenty years ago Heathrow served more destinations than any other European airport. It has now slipped to seventh place, way behind Paris and Frankfurt.
UK business people are paying the price, losing access to the very markets – in the Far East and Latin America – that we will depend on for growth. London’s airports can collectively muster five flights a day to China – to Beijing and Shanghai.
Paris CDG already sends 11 flights a day to four destinations in China, and Frankfurt sends 10 flights to six destinations – and the figures for Latin America look even worse.
We are not only losing tens of thousands of jobs in the aviation sector to our more ambitious and more confident rivals. We are failing to give UK business the easy connections they need.
Heathrow is already running at 99 per cent capacity, and in spite of Terminal 5 the airport is perpetually struggling to fit a quart into a pint pot.
When 40 per cent of flights are delayed – compared to 25 per cent in Amsterdam, Paris or Frankfurt – it is no wonder the Heathrow experience can be so miserable.
We desperately need more runway capacity – indeed we could have another 85m passengers per year and still be within the government’s limits set for greenhouse emissions.
The UK market is so strong that we could easily support a two-hub solution on the lines of JFK/Newark or Munich/ Frankfurt.
No solution is easy. The government’s South East Airports Task Force is right to consider all the options. We should look at airports around London, where they may be room to grow; we should also look at high-speed links between Heathrow and provincial airports.
We should certainly look at the Thames estuary, where the environmental impacts will be lowest. People will object that we can’t afford big new projects, though they may underestimate the attractions of investing in this kind of infrastructure.
The real question, long term, is whether we can afford not to.”
Photo: © Greater London Authority
Contractors World Magazines are published by VVV Limited
Publisher: Roger Lindley
Page updated: December 2011
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