Skip to main content
Open Search Modal

Super sewer project publishes annual report

Super sewer project publishes annual report

  • First three kilometres of the super sewer is now complete underneath the River Thames
  • Tideway is avoiding around 200 lorry journeys each day by using the river to move materials
  • More than 100 apprentices have landed jobs on the super sewer since the start of construction

Tideway has published its 2018/19 annual report confirming the project is on time to be delivered by 2024*. Three kilometres of the tunnel, which will prevent millions of tonnes of sewage polluting the Thames, have now been constructed and four giant tunnelling machines are digging deep below the capital.

Chairman Sir Neville Simms said: “Building the super sewer for London is a huge responsibility and one that we are proud to have. I am very pleased with the progress our team has made this year – from the health, safety and wellbeing of our people, to the construction of the tunnel itself. We have made this progress whilst always considering our impact on London’s environment and its communities. We look forward to making significant headway underground in the year ahead.

Earlier this year Tideway announced that it had increased its project cost estimate by eight per cent. This included substantial investment in the company’s river transport plans as well as taking account of unforeseen engineering challenges. Tideway confirmed that there will be no change to the estimated £20-25 annual cost range for Thames Water bill-payers.

Within its annual report Tideway has revealed details of its innovative river transport plan which aims to reduce the project’s carbon footprint as well as reducing road safety risks and taking pressure off London’s road network. It is taking around 200 lorry journeys off the road each day by using the river to transport material. More than one million tonnes of material have now been transported by river, saving more than 115,000 HGV movements.

Trials undertaken by Tideway have shown using the river can produce significantly fewer emissions, with a 1,000 tonne barge producing an average of 90% less carbon dioxide than a standard HGV equivalent.

Andy Mitchell, Tideway CEO, said: “With work on the tunnel in full swing, and a continued focus on keeping people safe, our operations this summer will see a major increase in our river traffic.

By transporting at least 90% of our tunnelling material by river instead of on the road, we are reducing our carbon footprint, as well as reducing road safety risks in London – two key issues for the capital. We are confident our work will lead the way in how businesses in future consider sustainable options for transporting goods and materials.

"While our ultimate goal is to clean up the River Thames, we’re also committed to boosting the river economy, increasing jobs and improving safety standards.

Tideway’s annual report also reveals the company is delivering on its wider legacy commitments for London and the construction industry. To date, more than 100 apprentices have taken up positions on the Thames Tideway Tunnel project. A cohort of 12 tunnelling apprentices have started working across the project, in the first tunnelling apprenticeship of its kind in the industry.
Through a partnership with the Construction Youth Trust, Tideway has also worked with around 7,000 young people in London schools to highlight the range of careers available in construction.

Read the full annual report here.

*This date has been updated to 2025 following an assessment of the impact of the pandemic on the project's schedule.