Friday, November 04, 2011


L'estuaire de la Tamise peut-il devenir d'ici une vingtaine d'années le grand hub multimodal de l'Europe ? C'est en tout cas l'ambition du projet présenté par les cabinets Halcrow et Foster + Partners avec leur très stimulant "Thames Hub - An integrated vision for Britain ".

L'ambition, la voilà :

"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.

Plus en détails, le projet se décomposerait comme suit :

"The main components of the Thames Hub are as follows:

- A new barrier crossing that extends the flood protection to London and the Thames Gateway into the 22nd century. The barrier harnesses tidal power to generate carbon-free energy

- A four-track, high-speed passenger and freight Orbital Rail route around London, which links London’s radial lines, a future high-speed rail line to the Midlands and the North, the Thames Estuary ports, High Speed 1 (Channel Tunnel to London), and European networks

- An Estuary Airport, capable of handling 150 million passengers per annum, thus enabling the UK to retain its global aviation hub status. The airport is integrated within a logistics matrix that connects by rail the Thames Estuary Ports and the ports of Liverpool, Southampton and Felixstowe. Associated with the Hub is a major renewable energy source in the Estuary

- A new utilities and data spine in the Thames Barrier, Orbital Rail line and high-speed networks, with applicability across the UK.

On retrouve dans ces images, l'ambition de projets que l'on croyait réservés, depuis une décennie, à l'Asie, que ce soit à Hong-Kong (voir " New transit space in H-K" et "New transit archipelago") ou autour de l'aéroport d'Icheon en Corée du sud avec, entre autres, Songdo (image ci-dessous).

Que l'Europe se réveille et ambitionne - enfin ! - de nouvelles choses en matière de transport est une très bonne nouvelle. Merci messieurs les Anglais.

Sur ce sujet, voir aussi, et .