Objective 1: Protect and enhance the environment
The Thames Tideway Tunnel will collect sewage before it enters the river and ensure it is properly treated, cleaning up the river for future generations of Londoners. This will also help to prevent fish kills and allow the river to sustain a rich, diverse array of wildlife.
The project will also address the growth of sewage-related litter, visible on the surface of the river and on the foreshore at low tide. The deadly effect of litter pollution on wildlife in waterways around the world has been brought into sharp focus in recent times through campaigns in the media. The tunnel will greatly reduce the quantity of sewage-related litter in the Thames and, in turn, reduce the amount ingested by wildlife, creating a positive ecological legacy.
However, the clean-up will have a broader positive impact on life in the capital. The reductions in sewage-related litter will improve the visual appearance of the river, making the river environment more appealing. This will improve quality of life while reducing costs of collecting the litter for local authorities and others.
In addition, the way we build our new structures in the river can provide a legacy of new habitats for aquatic and other wildlife in and around the River Thames. As well as designing our in-river structures with this benefit in mind, we are also taking steps to ensure that land-based wildlife can have greater protection through installing integrated features such as bird and bat boxes.
However, we do not want our environmental legacy to be simply based on the physical structures we leave behind. We want to leave behind a better understanding of the river by working with academics and ecologists to provide a broader knowledge of river habitats and aquatic ecology.
We are also spearheading initiatives that will not only reduce the impact of our activity on London’s environment, but leave new, innovative practices to benefit future construction projects. We have committed to minimising our carbon footprint and will be reporting our progress through the Government’s Infrastructure Carbon Review.
Through our ‘Sustainable transport—more by river’ strategy, we will ensure that we transport more components and remove more excavated material by river than originally planned in our Development Consent Order. We will take an extra 200,000 HGV movements off London’s roads than originally planned, to further limit pollution, congestion and to protect cyclists and pedestrians.
Environment Our Commitments
- Improve water quality and reduce biochemical oxygen demands in the tidal Thames by dramatically reducing CSO discharges into the river
- Reduce adverse litter conditions in the tidal River Thames
- Provide infrastructure that support a more resilient biodiversity
- Undertake and support research to provide a broader understanding of habitats and aquatic ecology of the tidal River Thames
- Minimise the carbon footprint of the project
- Reduce lorry movements on the project further than the reductions agreed in the Development Consent Order
Sustainability & Benefits
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