Professor Chris Binnie, who led the original assessment of the London super sewer, is quoted in the Guardian newspaper as saying that “The tunnel will do what it says it will do. But it is almost certainly a stupendous waste of money for very limited benefit”.
“Since the tunnel was chosen, in the intervening 10 years, technology has moved on much and techniques such as sustainable drainage systems, real-time control of sewer flows, floating booms to retain floating litter, sewer separation and the like have been developed and are now widely used elsewhere,” continued Professor Binnie.
This precise point has been consistently argued by the Save Kemp Campaign.
One of the favourite excuses Thames Water trots out to justify the £4.2 billion cost of the super sewer and the wholesale trashing of our beloved King Edward Memorial Park is that the original Victorian sewer system is not up to modern standards.
Not surprising as it is, er, Victorian.
But it does seem to be quite capable of doing its job.
However Professor Binnie has been down into the existing sewer system and is of the opinion that it is in very good shape and when loaded with dry weather waste water they don’t spill.
The Guardian story also quotes Lord Berkeley, a tunnelling expert, as saying that the super sewer is an example of ‘Big Project Mania’ and that it is not needed.