Thursday, February 02, 2012

The Thames Tunnel

Last night Thames Water came to speak to the Governors of Riverside Primary School about the likely impact of the Thames Tunnel super sewer. I am the Chair of Governors at Riverside School, which has been rated the 10th best primary school in the country by the Sunday Times.

Thames Water have purchased Chambers Wharf immediately adjacent to the school for £76.6 million and it is now their preferred site for major tunnelling works during the course of the construction of the Thames Tunnel. One tunnel will bore from the site whilst two other tunnels will arrive at the site. In short this means that an area of our borough's riverside will resemble a major industrial site for 7 years, with 24 hour tunnelling works going on for at least 3 years. 90 lorries a day are expected to rumble past the school, with thousands of millions of tons of excavated material will be transported away from the site. As the Headteachers of the school have commented, there will be generations of children attending the school who will never know a primary education without the sound of major industrial works and heavy industrial traffic just feet away from their classroom.

The proposals from Thames Water are unacceptable. The site will be a blight on our borough and will jeopardise the success of Riverside and other local schools. I simply do not know how residents who live adjacent to the site, and who bought their homes believing that Chambers Wharf would be developed as housing, will cope with the massive disruption.

There are alternative solutions available. The Channel Tunnel was constructed without "stopping-off" points being constructed along the way. Hybrid boring machines exist which could do the job. Thames Water admit this, although a hybrid machine is not their preferred approach. They would prefer to blight an area, schools and residents who live next to Chambers Wharf.

There is still time to object to these proposals - please do so at

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