What does National Grid do?

It is National Grid’s job to connect people to the energy they use. We play a vital role, delivering gas and electricity efficiently, reliably and safely to millions of people across Great Britain. In England and Wales we own and operate the high voltage electricity transmission network, and have day-to-day responsibility for balancing supply and demand across Great Britain. We also have operations in the north-eastern states of the US, and are one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the world.


Who regulates National Grid?

National Grid is regulated by Ofgem (Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets). Further information about Ofgem is available on its website, www.ofgem.gov.uk.


What is the LPT2 project?

The new London Power Tunnels 2 (LPT2) project follows the success of our original London Power Tunnels project (LPT1), a seven year £1 billion scheme to rewire the Capital. LPT1 involved building 32km of tunnels and two new substations. As part of this second phase, National Grid is planning to build a new network of cable tunnels in South London, 32.5km in length, between Wimbledon and Crayford.


Why do we need these tunnels?

The project is essential to replace existing cables which currently run beneath the road network in order to ensure a continued safe and reliable electricity network. In London, most electricity is transmitted through underground cables. These are traditionally located just beneath the road surface, and work to maintain them is usually carried out in the road. By housing new electricity cables in tunnels deep below the surface, a number of advantages are achieved compared to more traditional methods:

  • Overall disruption to Londoners and road users during construction is significantly reduced as the majority of the works will take place deep beneath the ground.
  • Future repair and maintenance can be carried out with minimal disruption to residents, traffic and businesses.


What route will the tunnels take?

The three sections we are replacing are:

  • Section 1: Wimbledon to New Cross – Operational by: 2025
  • Section 2: New Cross to Hurst – Operational by: 2026
  • Section 3: Hurst to Crayford – Operational by: 2026


How did you determine the route for the tunnels?

There were a number of key considerations for determining the proposed tunnel routes including:

  • The location of National Grid’s existing substations (start and end points for the new electrical circuits)
  • Environmental impacts, such as avoiding source protection zones for drinking water
  • The need to avoid other underground infrastructure
  • Ventilation and safety requirements (we need to have a shaft every 7km)


Does National Grid have the rights to carry out this work?

We are planning to build the tunnels and shafts under our permitted development rights, which means we do not need planning permission for the entire project. However, there will be points along the tunnel route where we need to build headhouses to cover the shafts. We will need to secure planning permission for these if they are not on our operational land.


When will this work be taking place?

Section 1: Wimbledon to New Cross

Length: 12km

Planned construction: July 2019 – March 2025

Operational by: 2025

 Section 2: New Cross to Hurst

Length: 18km

Planned construction: July 2019 – December 2025

Operational by: 2026

 Section 3: Hurst to Crayford

Length: 2.5km

Planned construction: January 2023 – December 2025

Operational by: 2026


What are your working hours?

Our working hours will be agreed with each local authority. Our standard hours of work are 7am to 5pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 1pm Saturday.  Out of hours work may be required but we will inform you in advance if this is the case. Underground tunnelling activities will take place on a 24hr basis.


How disruptive will these works be?

We are committed to developing our works with minimal impact on the local community. We will be carrying out an environmental assessment and will produce a Construction Environmental Management Plan and Traffic Management Plan before we start works. The tunnelling works are carried out deep beneath the ground, therefore it is unlikely that there will be any noticeable noise or vibrations. We will monitor these issues throughout the construction programme.


Will the works cause traffic congestion?

One of the reasons for building a tunnel is to avoid traffic congestion on the busy roads in and around London. However, there will be some construction traffic as a result of our work, particularly at the drive sites. Please be assured, this will be kept to a minimum and will be managed. Our Traffic Management Plans will be agreed with the local highway authority.


How will you keep us informed throughout the project?

We are committed to working with local communities and have a dedicated community relations team in place who will keep you informed about our works through:

  • Public information exhibitions
  • Project leaflets
  • Project updates by letter
  • Community meetings
  • Dedicated community relations phone number
  • Community relations email address
  • Local media


If you would like to discuss the project in more detail or have any questions, please contact our community relations team using the details below:

Call our Freephone helpline number: 0800 783 2855

Email: nationalgrid@londonpowertunnels.co.uk.