Response of the Thames Reach Airport consortium in opposition to the planned Heathrow expansion.
Please find enclosed a brief introduction to the integrated Thames Reach Airport proposal (a rail and road lower Thames crossing, London flood defence and hub airport) as a “greener” alternative to Heathrow by offering a better long‐term solution in reducing air travel by effective integration with high‐speed rail.
The current proposals by BAA for Heathrow’s expansion are only incremental and will only “buy” a few additional years. This is not a long term solution in the interest of the UK citizens. The decision, where to locate airport capacity is very complex and far reaching and cannot be left for “public opinion” to decide. Our experience with the SERAS white paper has shown, that the related governmental assessment has been influenced by vested interested being played out in the media – and less by expert scrutiny, as it is urgently needed for such an important decision, i.e. the cost of only adding a 3rd runway at Heathrow of £12bn is higher than building a complete new airport with the same Net benefits (to the UK) in the Thames Estuary.
We believe, as does Sir Peter Hall, Heathrow should be ultimately relocated to a safe and efficient new location ‐ highly integrated into regional, national and international rail networks, as demonstrated by Thames Reach Airport.
Such a new airport in the Thames Estuary would:
‐ Remove the very high crash risk over the densely populated London
‐ Remove the very high air pollution in west London
‐ Remove current “hubbing” constraints
‐ Remove night flight restrictions
‐ Remove up to 20% of unnecessary regional flights
‐ Remove long check‐in and luggage reclaim times (integrated “check‐in” trains)
‐ Remove long and unnecessary taxiing of the aircraft
‐ Remove large proportion of surface access by car
‐ Reduce conventional energy consumption
‐ Reduce airport operator monopoly
‐ Remove the need to expand other London airports in the foreseeable future
and would also:
‐ Reduce flood risk to London and the Thames valley
‐ Reduce M25 traffic at the Dartford crossing and around Heathrow
‐ Reduce housing need in the SE and protect green belt land
For further information about Thames Reach Airport, please go to: www.thamesreachairport.com