Mayor Boris "Requires" Council to Support Super Sewer

Q & A Session reveals split with Hammersmith and Fulham

London Mayor Boris Johnson has revealed that his officers have met with Hammersmith and Fulham Council urging them to to change their strategy on the Tideway Tunnel, nicknamed the Super Sewer.

Answering questions from Greater London Authority members on Monday, the Mayor was asked directly whether or not he had met with Hammersmith and Fulham Council over the need for the new sewer.

He replied that his officers had met the council and he had also personally made a representation to them regarding the strategic need for the project.

The council has been fighting a long campaign against the proposed tunnel, which Thames Water says is required to reduce the level of untreated sewage overflowing from Victorian sewers into the river.

The proposed Thames Tunnel will run for approximately 20 miles through London, and up to 75 metres beneath the River Thames, broadly following the path of the river. Along the way it will capture the flows of storm sewage from 34 sewer overflow points along the River Thames.

Construction is provisionally scheduled to start in 2012 and finish in 2020.The tunnel, along with a separate tunnel under the River Lee in London's East End, is required to ensure the UK complies with the European Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council has consistently opposed the building of the tunnel, calling it a "white elephant" and even going so far as to set up an onliner petition against it.

However, the Mayor's new draft water strategy took the opposite view, stating that he supports the building of the Thames Tideway tunnel under the Thames and the river Lee to greatly reduce discharges of sewage into the river and improve the quality of the water in the River Thames.

And when questioned by Liberal Democrat Assembly Member Mike Tuffrey, his answers revealed the extent of the split between his views and those of Hammersmith and Fulham Council.

Mike Tuffrey

Have you or officers met with Hammersmith and Fulham to ensure that the construction of the Thames Tideway Tunnel is not delayed; given that so far this year the Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO) at Hammersmith, Lots Road, Western and Abbey Mills have discharged more than 10 million cubic meters of storm sewage – enough to fill over 4000 Olympic swimming pools.

Answer from the Mayor:

My officers have met with Hammersmith & Fulham Council.  I have also made a representation in respect of the Council’s Core Strategy Development Plan Document requiring the recognition of the strategic need for this project.

The Hammersmith area will be one of the key areas to benefit from the sewer tunnel and I am optimistic that the Council will support the project provided that appropriate assurances about its construction and re-instatement are provided. 

Thames Tideway Tunnel (2)

Mike Tuffrey

Will you be forwarding a copy of your Water Strategy to Hammersmith and Fulham Council and asking the Leader to drop his ill-informed opposition to the Thames Tideway Tunnel?

Answer from the Mayor:

Hammersmith & Fulham, along with all other London borough councils, is being invited to comment on the draft Water Strategy.

My officers have met with Hammersmith & Fulham and set out the clear strategic need for this project whilst appreciating that there will be local concerns that need to be addressed through the design, construction management and re-instatement phases of its implementation.

September 16, 2009






September 16, 2009