Consultation ends 10th February 2012

The capital’s Victorian sewerage system needs more capacity to meet the needs of modern-day London. Though built to last and in good condition, the existing network is now too small to transfer all London’s sewage to treatment works for processing (after rainfall). 39 million tonnes of untreated sewage flushes into the River Thames in a typical year. That’s enough to fill the Royal Albert Hall 450 times. It’s an unacceptable problem, getting progressively worse.

Required to ensure the UK complies with European environmental standards, the Thames Tunnel will also bring wider social and economic benefits, and will protect the River Thames from increasing pollution for at least the next 100 years. A cleaner, healthier River Thames is essential for the well being of the city as a whole. The Thames Tunnel will ensure the country’s capital remains a flourishing business centre and tourist destination, protecting the city’s reputation around the world. The river is a great, under-used asset for the capital that must be protected.

To find out more about the Thames Tunnel, please visit the website. [Information for this article is directly quoted from the TT website].

How the tunnel will be built

The Thames Tunnel is proposed to be 7.2 metres in diameter, about 67 metres deep and the preferred route is approximately 25 kilometres (15.5 miles) long – making it one of the largest and deepest tunnels under London.

In general, the tunnel needs to follow the route of the River Thames so that it can be connected to the combined sewer overflows (CSOs) that are located along the riverbanks. Following the route of the river also means that use can be made of the River Thames itself to transport materials and minimise the number of existing buildings and structures that the tunnel will pass beneath.

The animation below describes the types of site needed and how the tunnel will be built:

Thames Tunnel Construction Animation from Thames Tunnel on Vimeo.

Thames Tunnel Now

To find out more about Thames Tunnel Now – a coalition of national and local organisations calling on MPs and local councils to support the construction of a new tunnel under the Thames – please visit their website.