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Flood threat means Thames Barrier could be raised over 300 times in 2100 - Baker

April 28, 2004 12:52 PM

Thames Barrier flood defence, open, on the River Thames at Woolwich.By 2100 the threat of flooding will be so severe that the Thames barrier may have to be closed up to 325 times a year, according to the latest Government figures, obtained by Norman Baker MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Environment Secretary.

In the last five years the barrier has been raised 55 times. In the five years before April 1999 the barrier was only raised 12 times.

The forecasts from DEFRA Minister Elliot Morley show that under the current climate change predictions, the barrier will need to be closed:

The Government has already been warned that the barrier will become ineffective by 2030, as it will need to be raised more times than it is able to.

Commenting, Norman Baker, said:

"These shocking figures reveal that the effects of climate change could be catastrophic for Londoners.

"Last year the Government's plans to build new homes in the Thames Gateway were published without any research on environmental constraints being completed. Londoners are not being told the truth.

"The cost of doing nothing is far greater than the cost of doing something. The Government can no longer sweep climate change under the carpet."