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Sheppard Robson to overhaul two Thames foot tunnels

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[FIRST LOOK + PROJECT DATA] Plans have been submitted by Sheppard Robson for the £11.5 million revamp of both the Grade II-listed Greenwich and Woolwich foot tunnels under The Thames

The proposals for the hundred-year-old tunnels – Greenwich was designed by Alexander Binnie and opened in 1902, while Woolwich was masterminded by Maurice Fitzmaurice and finished in 1912 – include replacing the lifts, refurbishing the stairs and adding new lighting.

Each year, 1.5 million pedestrians and cyclists pass through the passageways, however the tunnels are now starting to show their age and are leaking in some places.

Greenwich Council, which is overseeing the project, has bagged cash from the Government’s Community Infrastructure Fund for the scheme and expects to approve a ‘detailed work programme’ at its cabinet committee on 23 March (2010).

Full list of improvements:

  • New lifts
  • Refurbished stairways & head houses
  • New CCTV and communications system, including help buttons
  • New lighting
  • New drainage
  • Structural repairs
  • Leak sealing
  • New signing
  • Historical information murals

Greenwich foot tunnel dome - interior

Greenwich foot tunnel dome - interior

Project Data

Architects: Sheppard Robson
Location: Greenwich & Woolwich 
Type Of Project: Highways/ Listed structure refurbishment 
Structural Engineers: Hyder
Project Architect: Nick Hacking/ Dan Bur (design director)
Design Team: Hyder (lead), Sheppard Robson (architect),  Hoare Lea (lift consultant)
Client: Greenwich Council 
Funding:  Community Infrastructure Funding 
Tender date: January 2010 
Start on site date: March 2010
Contract duration: 12 months
Gross internal floor area:  370m (Greenwich) and 504m (Woolwich) in length
Form of contract and/or procurement: n/a
Total cost: £11.5 million
M&e consultant: Hyder 
Quantity surveyor: Cyril Sweet 
Planning supervisor: CDM Coordinator is Pellings
Lighting consultant: Hyder
Main contractor: Dean & Dyball
Selected subcontractors and suppliers:  none appointed yet 
Annual co2 emissions: 


The Greenwich Tunnel is owned by Greenwich and Tower Hamlets Councils, and the Woolwich Tunnel is owned by Greenwich and Newham Councils.

Greenwich Council operates and manages the tunnels on behalf of Newham and Tower Hamlets Councils.

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