Northern Powergrid, the company responsible for the electricity network that powers everyday life for 8 million customers across 3.9 million homes and businesses in the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, has reached out to thank customers in Elland whose support has helped them complete the first section of a major programme of work two weeks early.
The £3 million programme focuses on replacing one of the major circuits that supplies electricity to more than 43,000 customers in and around the Elland and Sowerby Bridge area, ensuring the local electricity network is capable of meeting the demand for power both now and in the future.
Carried out in April by Northern Powergrid and its contractor Excalon, the work involved excavating in the road along Park Road and Plains Lane in Elland to lay ducting for 1.2km of new underground cabling which will be installed later in the year. Replacing the existing cabling which dates back to the 1960s, this new, modern and sustainable cabling will help meet future increases for power on the back projected population growth and increased electric vehicle use over the next ten to 20 years.
The work was due to take six weeks to deliver, but has only taken four thanks to customers being supportive by respecting COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, moving vehicles quickly when asked and generally being patient while Northern Powergrid has dug past their homes and businesses. Following this, the network operator has written to local residents to say ‘thank you’ for their support.
Steve McDonald, Northern Powergrid’s General Manager for the West Yorkshire region, said: “We’re aware that residents in the Park Road area of Elland have had a tough time of things over recent months – they’ve experienced a landslide brought about by the floods in February and the subsequent closure of Elland Road, followed by the arrival of ourselves to dig up in front of their homes and businesses, and then all the challenges associated with the COVID-19 lockdown.
“Despite this, everyone has been hugely supportive in helping us complete our essential work as quickly as possible, allowing our key worker teams to work professionally, safely and swiftly. We’d like to extend a huge thanks to everyone impacted for their co-operation, kindness and patience.”
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Resources, Cllr Jane Scullion, said: “We’re mindful of the disruption that residents in this part of Elland have already faced this year, so we’ve worked closely with Northern Powergrid and Excalon to ensure these works were carried out as sensitively as possible. This included asking them to complete the ducting work during the existing closure of Elland Road to avoid unnecessary impacts.
“It’s really encouraging to hear that a combination of good communications, collaboration and community spirit has helped reduce the disruption these works could have caused.”
Northern Powergrid will be returning to complete the final stage of this investment work in late Summer 2020. This will involve pulling the new electricity cables into the ducting that has just been laid and joining them together. Two-way traffic lights will be in place while this work takes place. There are no plans to close the road and there will be full vehicle access at all times.
Further details will be communicated as soon as firm dates are confirmed.