THE BRITISH Tunnelling Society (BTS) championed its industry to MPs last week at the launch of the 'Parliamentary Group for Underground Space' at Portcullis House in Westminster.
The group has been set up by BTS members and MPs keen to promote tunnelling. It will hold regular national events and visits to tunnelling sites for MPs to boost awareness of the industry in parliament.
Speaking at the launch, exBTS president Peter South said: 'The main purpose of the group is to make advice and technology available to parliament. It is an arm of the BTS, and will draw on the resources of the BTS.'
South told MPs that tunnels can solve a variety of problems.
Schemes such as the proposed Crossrail project can relieve large scale congestion, he said, but all regions could benefit from less roadwork disruption if the utilities used trenchless technology. 'We believe that underground space should be explored to its full potential.
'We're not anoraks - we're British professionals and world leaders, ' South added.
The first site visit for MPs will be to the Channel Tunnel Rail Link in March 2003.