Thames Cleanup to Continue, Vows MEP

Sarah Ludford says that EU Laws Have Contributed

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The Rivers Thames and Wandle have been named in the top ten most improved UK rivers, in a list published today by the Environment Agency.

Painstaking efforts have been made to improve sewage systems, increase regulation on polluting industries and boost water quality

Improvements are set to continue, with the UK required to meet tough new EU targets on water quality by 2015.

Hounslow Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford, pictured above left, with London Assembly member Dee Doocey, has for the last 10 years led the campaign to clean up the Thames, and in 2005 presented a petition protesting about overflows of sewage in the Thames to the European Parliament. She believes that European Union laws have played a key role in driving forward the improvements, and commented:

"Environmental improvements have been one of the success stories of the European Union. Pollution pays no respect to national boundaries, and having common commitment and legal obligations to meet has helped stimulate action and secure public investment.

“The Thames was declared ‘biologically dead’ in the 1950’s, and now there are many different species of fresh water fish living and thriving in the river.”

"Improvements would have been made without the EU laws on water quality, but the pace would have been very much slower. We will only see this continue as the UK complies with the 2015 targets, and I will make sure that this continues. The people of London deserve an ecologically strong and clean river, not an open sewer.”

August 31, 2011