Six cyclists have ridden London’s deepest bike ride almost 200ft underground – in a ‘super sewer’.
The enthusiastic cyclists collected the experience under the capital as part of a fundraiser for charity before the sewage system goes into operation.
The 2.8-mile sewer began construction in 2016 and is scheduled for completion in 2025. When completed, it will remove 95% of the approximately 40 million tonnes of raw sewage currently entering the Thames each year.
It is between 40 and 50m below the surface, deeper than any of the metro lines in the capital.
Staff working on the project at Tideway London were offered the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for a chance to ride their bikes to the Deep and raise a total of £1,535 for charity.
The lucky winners made their descent in Battersea and then cycled uphill through the sewers – the deepest point of which is 66m below ground – to Blackfriars and back.
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Taylor Geall, Media Relations Manager at Tideway London, said: “The event went really well and everyone had a really good time. It is a once in a lifetime experience.”
The tunnel, estimated at £4.4bn, will be paid for by Thames Water’s customers, who pay between £20 and £25 each year for the project.
Geall said: “There has been a desire to clean up the river for many years.
“London’s sewage system is 150 years old and miraculously still in really good shape, but it just doesn’t do justice to the modern London population.
“A lot of analysis was done in the 1990s to find out what the best solution would be and this super sewer was chosen as the quickest and most cost-effective way to clean up the Thames.”
Money raised through the raffle will go to Time & Talents, a community center in London, and the Felix Project, which rescues and distributes surplus food to charities helping those in need.