Frazer and his class mates with Diglet

Work has started on a second tunnel beneath the streets of Market Harborough as part of a £1.5 million project to reduce the risk of surface water flooding in Coventry Road.

On Friday (6 February), the tunnelling machine, called ‘Diglet’, was lowered into position to start its 100 meter, laser-guided journey to the junction of The Square.

The name of the 600mm diameter machine was chosen by ten year-old Frazer a pupil from the nearby Market Harborough Church of England School as part of a competition. His class was also invited to the site on Friday to see ‘Diglet’ unveiled, as well as learning about engineering and the project itself.

Nick Randall, Project Manager for Anglian Water, said: “The children seemed to really enjoy seeing Diglet and learning about the work we’re doing and why.

“Giving the drill a name has proved really popular with the team working on the project. All of us just call him Diglet rather than a drill as we would on most similar projects. The name is incredibly catchy.

“Hopefully we’ve inspired the children and who knows maybe some will go on to be engineers of the future.”

The Anglian Water scheme began in November and has already seen a 1.2 metre diameter pipe installed under the The Square and the Commons Car Park. Work is now focused on Coventry Road itself where the second section of pipe is being constructed almost six metres underground.

Nick added: “We know having Coventry Road closed since January while we work on the second phase of the scheme has caused some disruption. But we hope people understand the importance of this work and are finding what we’re doing more interesting than inconvenient.

“The good news is this second stage of work is progressing well and we’re still on course to finish in March.”

Harborough District Council has been very supportive of the project from its design stage through to helping plan for the road closure to keep any disruption to a minimum.

Cllr Phil King, Deputy Leader of Harborough District Council, said: “I am pleased that Anglian Water has engaged with schools and the local community to explain more about the important work it is carrying out. It was good to hear that the scheme is progressing well and that the local community will soon benefit from these flood prevention measures.”