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Sir Neville Simms becomes Thames Tideway Tunnel chairman

Thames Tideway Tunnel has appointed former Carillion chairman Sir Neville Simms as its new chairman.

Sir Neville will focus on preparing the project for its move into the delivery phase pending the granting of planning consent.

Last week Thames Tideway Tunnel released the first tender documents to four shortlisted joint ventures for the western section of the tunnel.

Construction News revealed the eight shortlisted joint ventures across all three packages of work in October.

Invitations to tender for the central and eastern sections of the tunnel are due to follow next year.

Former chief executive of Tarmac and chairman of Carillion Sir Neville said: “I am thrilled to be joining the team driving forward this much-needed addition to the nation’s infrastructure. The project is fundamental for London’s future growth and wellbeing.

“I strongly believe that it is now the turn of our generation to repeat the foresight of our Victorian ancestors and ensure the capital’s sewerage system is fit for purpose for the 22nd century. London and the country deserve nothing less,” he added.

Thames Water chairman Sir Peter Mason said: “Spanning four decades, Sir Neville’s experience in delivering some of the UK’s most significant infrastructure projects, including the Thames Tidal Barrier and the Channel Tunnel, is exceptional.

“His appointment is extremely good news for the many people anxious for the Thames Tideway Tunnel to become a reality.”

The planning inspectorate is currently examining an application for approval to start construction of the tunnel at 24 sites across London.

The award of the construction contracts is scheduled for 2015, with the main tunnel works due to begin in 2016, lasting seven years.

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