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Thames Barrier to last 60 years

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London`s Thames Barrier will offer protection against flooding until at least 2070, the Environment Agency has revealed.

Research by the agency found London's flood defences have given a greater amount of protection than expected, which will no doubt be good news for home insurance providers.

Initially, the barrier was designed to offer protection until 2030, however, this latest study has pushed its life span up by an extra 40 years.

It also revealed the Thames' current flood defence network, both upstream and downstream from the barrier, will need upgrading in about 2035.

According to the Environment Agency, by 2075 a new barrier - or changes to the current one - should be in place to safeguard London from rising sea levels and storms caused by climate change.

It is thought the sea-level could rise by 2.7 metres, although this is a worst-case scenario.

The Environment Agency added even if the sea rose to that level, there would be no need for an outer estuary barrage to protect the Thames from the tide.

© Press Association 2009