Releasing the Thames Estuary 2050 report on the same day as the Heathrow vote and the Letwin review is no coincidence but deliberate media manipulation to bury it.
Surely Teresa May, known to have tried to bury the Northern Powerhouse simply because she disliked George Osborne, is not well disposed to a project once led by Micheal Hesiltine. Hesiltine would have seen this as a delivery project with detailed and costed proposals. I greatly admire Sir John Armitt but this and the Arup report that accompanies it see it primarily as big engineering. Sorry I think that was a miscalculation.
It was buried because the Treasury wont back it. Hammond is not disposed to ‘bids’ from private Pike and other ministers having now been forced to raise taxes for the NHS. Cam-MK-OX got the green light because the technical work showed a ‘transformational’ growth scenario allowing for higher economic growth. What is more astonishing is the SHMAs for the area do show the uplift this implies – for South Essex for example it implies +16% (to 2036). Im rather angry it was job number 1 for Arup and was missed. The various partnerships in the area will now have to make the case.