“Good luck” was the recurring message to the Thames Tideway Tunnel team from visitors to the Mayor’s Thames Festival (8-9 September).
Over the weekend-long festival approximately 800 visitors stopped by the Thames Tideway Tunnel stand to meet staff members, check out models of how the tunnel will be built and watch films explaining the issue of untreated sewage flowing into the River Thames. There was also a pledge board where scores of visitors signed to show their support for plans to clean up London’s river.
Supporters of the project included Susie from Chiswick, who commented: “I totally agree with the much needed improvement… to dispose of all our sewage in a clean, safe manner instead of polluting our wonderful London River.”
Another noted “It’s just crazy that we haven’t done this already. The only downside I can see is the disruption to Londoners, but we deal with this on a daily basis. The positive outcome of this by far outweighs the negative.”
Visitors to the stand came from all corners of the capital, including Bow, Clapham, Hammersmith, Harrow and Redbridge. Thames Water customers from outside London also took the opportunity to find out more about the project. Carol, a Londoner now living in Aldershot, said: “I would like to see the Thames cleaned up and I agree to the Tideway Tunnel. I think it’s a brilliant idea.”
Many nearby Southwark residents, concerned about the project’s potential impacts at Chambers Wharf, also took the opportunity to quiz the project team. However, the dominant reaction of the Festival crowds was summed up by one Londoner, who simply said: “Get on with it.”