A group of Bermondsey mums are planning to peacefully blockade a 36-hour concrete pour for the Thames Super Sewer in protest at the impact on their children.
A continuous concrete pour is needed at Tideway’s worksite at Chambers Wharf to reinforce the underground structures of the £4.2billion project.
However, the pour is likely to face disruption at the hands of local mothers living by the site, in a row over the work’s impact on their children’s health.
Mum-of-four and Chambers Way resident, Heather Mulkerrins, who has helped organise the demo said: “I want Tideway to know we’re serious, we’re not joking – this is going ahead.”
Up to fifteen mothers have pledged to blockade the one entrance and exit gate to where the concrete pour is taking place, preventing as manty as 300 lorries from gaining access on Friday morning.
The demo has been sparked in part because of respite and mitigation measures given to those facing the worksite, but not those living facing away from it.
“My place doesn’t face the site, so they’re saying we’re not affected. But just because we don’t face it doesn’t mean our children aren’t affected,” said 31-year-old Ms Mulkerrins.
“We’re hoping they’ll know in future that they’ll have to treat us equally. I think we’ve just had enough.”
Two of her children have respiratory problems, she added, which would be negatively impacted by any pollution from the concrete pour.
A Tideway spokesperson said the work was needed to stop sewage pollution in the Thames and that it works with the community to minimise disruption.
“At the start of our project, an Independent Compensation Panel was established to enable residents living near our sites to apply for mitigation and support if they felt they were adversely affected by the work involved,” said the spokesman.
“The panel is formed of independent experts ranging from health professionals to noise specialists, and each decision is based on an individual’s circumstances – including proximity of their home to the site, health and other personal circumstances.”
The panel wouldn’t comment on individual cases, he added.
As the News has reported, Chambers Wharf campaigners have previously launched legal action over the super-sewer construction, arguing residents’ needs for mitigation from noise and pollution had not been sufficiently addressed.
Construction of the major 16-mile tunnel is due to be completed by 2024.