PROTESTERS against the Super Sewer today made their feelings known to Thames Water as they handed in more than 2,500 signatures against the controversial scheme.
About 150 people, including 60 children from Thomas's School, joined council leader Stephen Greenhalgh and MP Greg Hands at the consultation hand-over by Wandsworth Bridge.
The group held banners and chanted 'No sewer in Fulham' before handing in boxes of consultation forms to watching Thames Water boss Phil Stride.
Mr Stride was heckled by irate Carnwath Road resident David McGinty as the Chronicle asked the utility firm's chief whether Thames Water could justify proceeding with 20-mile long, £4.1bn tunnel in the face of such staunch opposition.
Mr Stride dismissed Mr McGinty's claims that the 'cash cow' tunnel would be a 'white elephant that will destroy the community', promising no final decisions had been made about shaft site locations.
Residents united in their condemnation of the plans. Chris Parr, 34, of Munster Road, said: "We have today shown that Fulham residents are united in opposing this tunnel which is being built in the heart of a community and next door to a school.
"They thought there were only 100 of us but we've handed in 2,500 forms."
Emma Waterfall, 31, said: "Thames Water don't believe there are many people living in this area - that is clearly not true. We will keep on fighting."
Deputy head teachers at St Thomas's School, Paul Wild and Suzy Bell, added their voices to the opposition, with Mr Wild saying: "This tunnel will have a huge impact on the children."
The closure of the consultation came on the same day water expert Chris Binnie, previously an advocate of the scheme, said the tunnel isn't necessary to tackle pollution after all.
In a 70 page report submitted to Government ministers Mr Binnie, formerly head of the Thames Tideway Strategic Study Group, instead proposes a cheaper solution involving fixed and mobile ‘bubblers and skimmers’ which would boost oxygen levels, reduce litter and clean the water. He highlights a similar scheme in Cardiff Harbour that has delivered significant benefits at a fraction of the cost of the sewer and time it would take to build.
Mr Binnie says in the report: “The huge and escalating costs of the Thames Tunnel no longer justify the benefits. The EU Directive is very clear that member states are expected to use the best technical knowledge not entailing excessive cost."
Mr Stride said Thames Water would look at the consultation responses and make a final decision in May about shaft sites.
"Carnwath Road is a preferred site but we are going to listen to people. We cannot build this tunnel without causing disruption but it's vital for London."