MPs go underground to discover the ‘fascinating’ Victorian sewers

Last updated: 11 May 2017

MPs go underground to discover the ‘fascinating’ Victorian sewers

MP Sewer Visit

On Wednesday 1 March Dr John Pugh, Member of Parliament for Southport, and Amanda Solloway, Member of Parliament for Derby North, travelled underground into the Fleet Sewer, near Blackfriars Bridge, to explore at first hand Sir Joseph Bazalgette’s famous London sewer system.

This visit took place as part of their Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) Fellowships examining the UK’s major new waste and construction projects.

To start the visit, John and Amanda received a briefing on the Thames Tideway Tunnel, which outlined the importance of the 16 mile tunnel that will stretch from Acton in West London to Abbey Mills in East London.  Shortly after, both Members of Parliament changed into protective clothing and went underground for a tour of the Fleet Sewer.

John Pughand Amanda Solloway in protective clothing

Thereafter, John and Amanda participated in an educational boat ride with Tideway on a Clipper boat down the river to Westminster. Along the way, both members saw the Tideway construction projects currently being undertaken along the banks of the river near Embankment and spoke with Geoff Loader, Head of Stakeholder Engagement at Tideway, about the importance of investment into infrastructure projects.

This was the final visit of Dr John Pugh’s IPT Fellowship into waste management and the first visit of Amanda Solloway MP’s Fellowship examining the construction sector. 

Commenting on the visit John Pugh MP said:

“Today I learnt a great deal about waste management systems in the UK and the importance of investment in our infrastructure. The Thames Tideway Tunnel is an essential construction project to ensure London’s sewer system is operating effectively and in an environmentally-friendly way. It was a great visit to complete my Fellowship.” 

Commenting on the visit Amanda Solloway MP said:

This major infrastructure project will ensure the UK meets European environmental standards and it was fascinating to see the Fleet Sewer in person. I look forward to further visits examining the subject of construction in the United Kingdom.”  

Geoff Loader, Head of Stakeholder Engagement at Tideway, said: 

“It was a great pleasure to show both John and Amanda the vital construction work we’re doing at Tideway. They were both very engaged throughout the day and eager to learn as much as possible about what we’re doing to deliver a cleaner River Thames and a crucial piece of infrastructure for London for generations to come.”

About the IPT

  • To find out more about the Industry and Parliament Trust please visit: or contact Rioco Green, Communications Officer on 020 7839 9409 or
  • The Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) is a registered charity dedicated to promoting mutual understanding between Parliament, business, industry and commerce for the public benefit. This is achieved by encouraging dialogue between legislators and wealth generators from all sectors of business. The IPT is independent, non-partisan and non-lobbying.

Fellowships are bespoke placements in industry for MPs, MEPs and peers structured around a set of learning objectives dictated by each parliamentarian at the beginning of their programme. Fellowships are non-lobbying, non-partisan and educational in ethos and are supported across Parliament. There are currently 80 parliamentarians undertaking a Fellowship. There have been over 500 Fellows since the IPT was founded in 1977.

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