A production error in the last issue of NCE (NCE 16/23 December) meant that Thames Water’s approach to spoil removal for the proposed Thames Tunnel was misreported.
In the article “Thames Water resists calls for barge use” we quoted head of London Tideway Tunnels Phil Stride as telling NCE’s Tunnelling 2010 conference that Thames Water was resisting pressure from councils to use the River Thames as the “main” spoil and materials transport route.
The story should have quoted Stride as saying that Thames Water was resisting use of the river for “all” material movements.
This error also meant that the headline was misleading. Thames Water is not resisting calls for barge use.
In fact, Thames Water volunteered to use river transport in the project’s early stages. Stride’s point to NCE’s conference was that a combination of lorries and barges is likely to be used.
Speaking to NCE after the conference, Stride reiterated this point. “We remain committed to using river barges to transport spoil away from Thames Tunnel work sites as a less disruptive and less carbon-intensive alternative to using lorries,” he said.
“It may not be economically and logistically viable to use barges at each work site, but where it is we will use them.
“From the outset of this proposed project to clean up the River Thames, we have made clear our intention to do the work in a way that treads as lightly as possible on the surrounding environment. Using river barges to transport spoil is all part of that.”