The newly launched Thames Estuary Growth Board has set out its sustainable transport plans that include building hydrogen production, storage and fuelling infrastructure, as well as increasing water freight in the area.
Thames Estuary said ‘the Green Blue’ 10-year action plan has the potential to create 1.5 million and contribute £115 billion to the UK economy.
The region comprises east London, north Kent, south Essex and the Thames itself.
Part of the plans include working to increase freight and passengers moved on the Thames by 25% and 50% respectively over a five-year period.
The hydrogen production, storage and fuelling infrastructure will support a shift to green vessels and support green, land-based transport.
There are currently around 30 projects in development across sectors including transport, infrastructure, leisure and culture.
This includes the Lower Thames Crossing – a 2.6-mile tunnel (the longest in the UK) connecting communities in Kent, Thurrock and Essex.
The Growth Board is also working to improve transport and connectivity, collaborating with Transport East, Transport for South East and Transport for London for a co-ordinated approach across the Estuary.
Kate Willard, the Government-appointed Thames Estuary Envoy and chair Thames Estuary Growth Board, said: “The Thames Estuary is brimming with potential, just waiting to be tapped into. The government recognises this, which is why it is viewed as integral to the future of the UK economy.
“But real growth is about more than nuts and bolts – it’s about people. That is why our Board is here. We build partnerships; we create opportunities; we work closely with local communities.
“We do all this and more to make the most of the possibilities the Thames Estuary offers. Ultimately, we are here to get things done.”