Lord Foster has launched proposals for the Thames Hub - An Integrated Vision for Britain. Foster + Partners, Halcrow and Volterra have worked together on a self-funded study to produce a detailed vision for the Thames Hub. The study is unique for its scale and strategic cross-sector thinking and the outcome is a holistic vision for future infrastructure development in Britain.
Britain can no longer trade on an inadequate and aged infrastructure. A fast-growing population and an evolving global economy demand that the quality of the UK's infrastructure be improved and its capacity increased dramatically. The study describes proposals for a Spine which combines rail, energy, communications and data running the length of the UK. The Spine is fed by a Thames Hub, which brings together a new river barrier and crossing, an international airport, and a shipping and rail complex. Recognising the synergies between rail, freight logistics, aviation, energy and its transmission, flood protection and regional development, it reaps the benefits of their integration.
The Thames Hub will lay the foundations for the future prosperity of Britain. It will put in place the transport connections Britain needs in order to maximise its trade links with the rest of the world. It will create jobs across the UK, balance the economy between North and South, and boost the economies of the Midlands and the North by providing them with direct connections to the cities and markets of Europe.
"If we are to establish a modern transport and energy infrastructure in Britain for this century and beyond, we need to recapture the foresight and political courage of our 19th century forebears and draw on our traditions of engineering, design and landscape," said Lord Foster, founder and chairman of Foster + Partners. "If we don't then we are denying future generations to come. We are rolling over and saying we are no longer competitive - and this is a competitive world. So I do not believe we have a choice."