Thames Reach Airport is an independent private sector initiative, supported by leading UK consultants, whose key strategy for the provision of aviation capacity is to develop a modular, 24h AirRailHub in the Thames Estuary led by a multi-modal Lower Thames Tunnel under the Thames Sea Reach and flood defence for London. This document introduces the immense economic and environmental benefits of combining a hub airport with a Lower Thames Tunnel, flood storage and tidal power generation at the Hoo peninsular and the wider benefits for the Thames Gateway region and the continued growth of London and the step change of systematic rail integration. The proposals have been developed over the last ten years and have been consulted widely with all key stakeholders, including the SERAS consultation in 2003.
This integrated solution has been initiated by Bluebase in 2002 as “Thames Reach Airport”, and has formed Thames Reach Airport Ltd. to promote and develop the project. In addition Metrotidal Ltd has been launched in 2007, as a stand-alone business case for a Lower Thames Crossing solution, compatible with the integrated Thames Reach Airport proposals. While the need for a hub is a key driver for this proposal, the overarching benefit is clarity and joined up thinking for a new location in the Thames estuary, the ability to plan aviation and rail for the future. Doing nothing or keeping the existing with only small incremental improvements (i.e. 3rd runway in Heathrow) will grind future planning to a halt. Planes will continue to fly, but in an ever deteriorating transport infrastructure, due to lack of consensus and direction. Aviation and related infrastructure requires “a clear vision and commitment” set out by government. It cannot be left to market forces or short-term “value for money” considerations.
This project is based on the following principles:
- Government led integrated vision for the future
- Strongest possible rail integration (local, regional, national, freight)
- Balancing London and the South East
- Sustainable and innovative
- Flexibility for implementation and ownership