‘Busy Lizzie’ mechanical mole arrives in Beckton to dig Lee Tunnel

A 120-metre long tunnel-boring machine dubbed Busy Lizzie has arrived in Beckton to start work on the �635million Lee Tunnel.

The machine completed a journey from Germany to Beckton sewage works on Thursday (July 28) to start work on the new four-mile sewer. It will be the UK’s deepest and is designed to help prevent 16million tonnes of sewage entering the river during heavy rainfall each year.

The machine was named by ten-year-old Ryan Waters, from Maryland Primary School, who was inspired by Her Majesty The Queen.

In his entry Ryan wrote: “The boring tunnel machine is massive. Nothing can defeat it. It bores its way through the ground. It works hard. Lizzie comes from Elizabeth. That’s why it’s called Lizzie. Busy Lizzie is also the pet name of a flower. Flowers smell nice. Sewers stink!”