Sir Terry Farrell believes that the Thames Estuary Airport is not the answer to meeting future aviation and international connection needs. He thinks, as he said at the recent NLA event, we need to look to the west for extra airport capacity.
“There is a much more convincing case for London’s macro transport connections to be substantially biased westwards. That’s where the rest of the UK is and, not coincidentally, all of the existing major transport infrastructure.”
He believes that rather than spend money on “utopian solutions” building from scratch, “21st Century planning in the West must be based on making what we already have work by adding and reinforcing rather than spending billions of pounds demolishing one set of interconnecting infrastructures in order to build another.”
He went on to show how a new metropolitan interchange between HS2, Crossrail and other road and rail links at Old Oak Common can connect five airports, making new airports or extra runways less important. Old Oak would have sub-60 minute connections to Heathrow, Gatwick, London City, Luton and Birmingham airports. Sir Terry said; “I’ve always thought there is a bigger case to be made for us to develop a constellation airport hub linked by new rail connections.”
The interchange would also help enable ‘Park Royal City’, a vision for the regeneration of the surrounding area which could provide 12,000 new homes, 115,000 extra jobs, and add £8.3bn to the local economy.