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Minister for London visits Thames Tideway Tunnel as multibillion engineering project gets underway

The scheme, one of the largest of its kind in Europe, will modernise London’s ageing sewage system for 100 years.

Minister for London at Thames Tideway Tunnel.

Minister for London Jo Johnson visited the Thames Tideway Tunnel (17 May 2018), as engineering teams get ready to start tunnelling work on the £4.2 billion sewage system.

The first 2 tunnel boring machines – huge feats of engineering that will begin work on the 25km tunnel – are ready to be lowered, which will lead to work starting on one of the largest projects of its kind in Europe later this year.

On the visit the minister, accompanied by Treasury Minister Robert Jenrick and Deputy Leader of Wandsworth Council Jonathan Cook, saw first-hand how the scheme, which will be the biggest ever investment in the capital’s sewerage system, will benefit Londoners for generations to come.

Minister for London Jo Johnson said:

London is a thriving international city, and people will always want to move here. We must ensure that opportunities for housing and work are there – and that Londoners are offered the best possible quality of life.

The Thames Tideway Tunnel is an incredible feat of engineering and a big part of this ambition. It will help guarantee that the groundwork is in place to support our great city for the decades to come.

The Thames Tideway Tunnel is set to deliver billions of pounds worth of economic benefits to London, and will modernise our capital’s ageing sewage system for the next 100 years. It is set to be completed in 2023.

It will also improve the river’s water quality significantly by dramatically reducing the amount of sewage overflowing into the river, allowing its biodiversity to flourish.

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Robert Jenrick said:

This government is investing record levels in infrastructure across the country to boost productivity and raise living standards.

The Thames Tideway Tunnel will deliver vital infrastructure for Londoners and continue the UK’s international reputation and skills-base for tunnelling, as developed in Crossrail.

As tunnelling is about to begin, we are thrilled to see this project reach such an important milestone.

Mark Sneesby, Tideway’s Chief Operating Officer, said:

The lowering of our first 2 tunnel boring machines will mark a significant milestone for the construction of Thames Tideway Tunnel, ahead of tunnelling later this year. When complete the tunnel will prevent tens of millions of tonnes of untreated sewage entering London’s iconic River Thames every year.

Jonathan Cook, Deputy Leader of Wandsworth Council, said:

I am delighted to see this launch in Wandsworth and it’s an important step in the project to clean up the Thames. It’s great to see Tideway helping our drive to improve air quality and minimising lorry movements.

The Thames Tideway Tunnel will be the biggest ever investment in the capital’s sewerage system. It will start at Action Storm Tanks in West London (30m deep), and end at Abbey Mills Pumping Station in East London (67m deep).

Government has been working closely with the water industry on the Thames Tideway Tunnel project. In 2015 Defra agreed the project’s unique financing and delivery model with the water sector, which has enabled the tunnel to be built without taxpayers’ money.

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Published 17 May 2018