Big Ben – UK parliament meet to discuss renovation work

Published: 02/02/2012

On Monday 23 January UK parliamentarians met to discuss the latest report on the structural condition of Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster.

UK and international media reported that the iconic clock tower was leaning and speculated on how long it would take the structure to tilt as much as Pisa or even collapse.

Members of Parliament discussed the latest report which contained a number of solutions to the problem including the suggestion that Parliament could be temporarily moved while renovation works are being carried out.

Big Ben is titling just 0.26 degrees to the north west and has increased very slightly since 2003. 

The Clock Tower, housing the bell which is called Big Ben, was completed in 1859.

Since then a five-storey car park and the Jubilee underground line have been constructed.

The Palace of Westminster is also suffering from cracking.

While an initial investigation into repair works will be underway for approximately a year the House of Commons committee concluded that renovations will not begin until at least 2020.

Sarah Fray, Director of Engineering and Technical services at the Institution of Structural Engineers was asked to provide an interview on the subject for news network Al Jazeera English.

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