UK

Boris Johnson Opens London 'Super Sewer' By Flushing A Toilet

28/01/2016 21:41 GMT | Updated 28/01/2016 21:59 GMT

Boris Johnson is used to attending grand openings but on Thursday he performed one of his more bizarre honours - opening London’s new multi-million pound super sewer by flushing a toilet.

The Mayor of London officially opened the Lee Tunnel by pulling the chain on a lavatory.

According to the Evening Standard, Johnson said: “"It is an amazing achievement for British engineering.

"It is expensive and I understand people's concerns about that but in the end the real cost, it seems to me, is the cost to our city, to the environment, of not doing it.

boris johnson

Boris Johnson at the opening of the Lee Tunnel

"The Victorians were very ambitious - our generation should be similarly ambitious."

Johnson said that the tunnel was necessary because the present Victorian sewage system simply cannot cope with the capital’s growing population.

According to Sky News, he said that the current system floods at least once a week.

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This Lee Tunnel, which measures 4.3 miles and cost £678 million to build, is to be followed by an even bigger tunnel, the Thames Tideway Tunnel.

Construction on that is due to start later this year.

Critics of the scheme have claimed it will cause unnecessary disruption and cost Thames Water customers more money, although the firm has promised to ensure the impact of its construction sites will be kept to a minimum.