The River Thames can be made cleaner and London can fulfill its obligations to meet European Union directives on water quality without building Thames Water’s ‘super sewer’, a group of experts brought together by councils opposing the project have claimed.
That is the central contention of the Thames Tunnel Commission (TTC), chaired by Lord Selborne, whose report has just been published.
The Commission was funded by a group of five London local authorities who feared spiralling water bills and were concerned at the impact of the scheme on public open space and regeneration sites along the river.
Lord Selborne said: “Our analysis shows there is a substantial body of evidence pointing to the fact that there is a smarter way to make the River Thames cleaner.
“A shorter tunnel, combined with green infrastructure solutions that are built up incrementally in the medium to long term, would be both compliant with EU directives and less costly and disruptive to Londoners. These alternatives require further study.”
The TTC was sponsored by the London boroughs of Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F), Richmond, Southwark and Tower Hamlets and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
3 November 2011