Stop the Thames Water Rip-Off
To: Boris Johnson, Mayor of London
of 2,000 signatures
Dear Boris, London’s rainwater run-off problem causes sewers to overflow, but Thames Water’s ‘super sewer ’ is not the solution. 14 million of their customers, both in and outside London, would have to pay dozens of £ billions over its lifetime, through a permanent 25% average increase on their water bills, for an asset which they would not own. Pensioners would be paying for something they may not live to see, and the young would carry the cost for the rest of their lives. We are calling on you to champion Green Infrastructure, the cheaper, greener, more effective solution to the issue of rainwater management. Unlike the tunnel, this would mitigate the related issues of drought and floods, create local jobs for the long term and foster a healthier environment in London. We need you to stand up for Londoners and Thames Water customers - stop the government from giving the go ahead for the Thames Tunnel. -- Note: although addressed to Boris Johnson, this petition also directly concerns around 6m people outside London who pay their sewerage charge to Thames Water, as well as *all* UK taxpayers, engaged by the Government to support the Thames Tunnel project for an uncapped amount, through the Water Industry (Financial Assistance) Act 2012.
Why is this important?
The government are about to give Thames Water the green light to bore a 25km long ‘super sewer’ under the Thames to cope with London’s rainwater run-off. But rather than paying for the tunnel themselves, despite awarding themselves billions in dividends over the last few years - and paying no UK tax in the last two - the overseas bankers who control Thames Water are expecting their customers to stump up the cash. The £12bn estimated gross cost (including build, financing, initial operation and profit margin) will be paid by Thames Water’s 14 million household customers and underwritten by the taxpayer because it's too risky to insure. To put that in perspective, a 20 years-old would pay over £13,000 for this folly over their lifetime; this is an optimistic scenario assuming no further cost escalation (for a project whose estimate has already inflated almost 3x since being mooted) and that the taxpayer-backed blank cheque/bailout facility doesn't get used. Even worse, he 'super sewer' won't deliver a clean Thames for another 10-15 years - and even then, it's designed to spill 4 times a year, initially, causing yet more fish kills. It won’t deal with local flooding, drought or provide on-going jobs for the local economy. The enlightened alternative solution to this urban problem will start to deliver a clean Thames within 2 years, solving the rainwater run-off issue with a mix of green infrastructure and attenuation (slowing down flows). This can be implemented gradually at far less cost to taxpayers and Thames Water customers, and also deliver improved air quality. Allowing rainwater to infiltrate back to aquifers and harvesting it will help prevent droughts. The green industry thereby fostered will provide permanent jobs. This solution will enhance everyone's quality of life. It WORKS - see this highly recommended 3 mins video for yourself: http://vimeo.com/17306371 This is a once a century opportunity to help create a cleaner, greener and sustainable environment. You can find more information at http://cleanthames.org See the extent of the 14m TW sewerage customers zone here: http://cleanthames.org/resources/tw-sewerage-boundaries/