Old Kent Road site (New Cross substation)

Our existing ‘New Cross’ substation site is located to the north of Old Kent Road in South Bermondsey. We will need to build two shafts next to our existing site to help dig the tunnels towards Kings Avenue and Eltham

We also need to build two headhouses to cover the shafts. The headhouses will then be used for ventilation and as permanent access points to the tunnels once they are built

The works are being carried out under our permitted development rights and have been agreed with the London Borough of Southwark

As part of our preparatory works for the site, we have carried out ground remediation works which involved digging an area where the shafts will be built, and removing any unwanted materials and contaminated land.

Working hours:

  • Works will be taking place on site 24/7 until mid-May
  • From that point, work will be 24/5

Key Facts:

  • Dimensions: The shafts will be 10.5m and 15m in diameter and 34m in depth (the same length as three London buses). The headhouses will have a maximum footprint of 15m by 15m, reaching a maximum height of 10m (the height of a typical three-storey building). We are also installing two super grid transformers
  • Traffic movements: We anticipate that there will be up to 240 Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) movements per day during peak activity between summer 2020 and 2025, while we build the tunnels.
  • Following the construction of the shafts and tunnels, there will be a significant reduction in the number of HGV movements required per day as we clean the tunnels, install the cables and cable brackets, fit-out the shafts and build the headhouses to cover the shafts.
  • Our construction vehicles will avoid peak morning and evening times, and we are working with the London Borough of Southwark to agree a Detailed Construction Logistics Plan.
  • Access: Our construction vehicles will use an existing private road joining the A2 (Old Kent Road) to enter and leave the site.

Project update


  • Work started in April 2020 and will finish in 2026.
  • The two tunnels are scheduled to be built between summer 2020 and 2024.
  • The two headhouses are scheduled to be built between 2024 and 2026.

In light of the current situation regarding coronavirus, we wanted to share a short update with you about the works that are due to take place at our Old Kent Road (New Cross) site.

London Power Tunnels is a key part of the national infrastructure. These are works that need to take place today to ensure the future running of the network.  Together with our contractors, we are continuing to progress with the critical elements of the project in line with current Government guidance on construction activity.

As well as work at our Old Kent Road (New Cross) site, we will also be working at our Kings Avenue and Hurst, as these are three sites key to the development of the project. At all sites we have introduced stringent site operating procedures to safeguard our workforce, their colleagues, their families and the UK population.

We will soon begin increasing the level of activity taking place at the start, as we prepare to begin tunnelling. This will mean you are likely to see more National Grid contractors working at the site, please be rest assured that we are working to the government guidelines for the construction industry and are being stringent in ensuring these are adhered to.

We remain committed to open and transparent communications with all our stakeholders on this project and will keep you updated on works at this and other sites.

This project website will be kept up to date and our community relations helpline (0800 783 2855) remains open 24/7 to answer any questions. You can also email us at [email protected]