Project summary

The project

We are planning to build a new network of cable tunnels in South London, 30km in length, between New Cross and Wimbledon, and Hurst and New Cross.

We are also looking at building a tunnel between Hurst and Crayford. However, this part of the project is in early development and we will be holding a public information event in June to share further details.

The works are essential in order to replace existing electricity circuits which are coming towards the end of their useful life. The majority of these currently run beneath the road network. Work to build the tunnels will start in summer 2019 and will take approximately eight years to complete.

The new cable tunnels are part of National Grid’s £750 million investment to ensure a continued safe and secure supply of electricity to the Capital.

This new project is called London Power Tunnels 2 (LPT2) and 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.

We made a number of significant achievements on this project including recycling 98% of spoil removed from the tunnel; designing a state of the art substation at Highbury and a development to accommodate new business units and affordable homes; and working with over 30,000 pupils across London schools to promote engineering skills.

Why a tunnel?

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 road 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 traffic, businesses and residents.