Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has commenced work on its £7.3m project to install over 20km of new underground electricity cables between Fernhurst and Plaistow which, when complete, will make supplies to 6,800 customers more robust, resilient and minimise the risk of power cuts.
The cable route, which begins at SSEN’s main substation at Fernhurst and ends at Plaistow, takes in a combination of public roads and private land. With narrow, tree-lined roads an integral part of the local area’s traditional appeal, working to install over 20km of new cable has required months of detailed planning in conjunction with the Highways Department at Hampshire Highways to ensure that there is minimum disruption to the local community.
The first phase of the project, which starts midway along Vann Road and heads towards Fernhurst Crossroads, is currently progressing well, and is due to be completed mid-April. For the safety of road-users and staff working on site, Vann Road is closed to all non-essential traffic and all HGVs, with only residents’ access available.
Teams are working five days a week and in areas with higher traffic volumes, weekend working will be in operation from 7am to 5pm.
SSEN’s Project Manager, James Rooney said: “We want to do everything we can to make sure our customers get the best possible service at all times, and this £7.3m project will make the local network more robust and resilient and reduce the risk of power cuts. Also, as we are replacing the existing overhead lines with new underground cables, we are removing the risk of trees coming into contact with our network, which has been the major cause of power cuts in recent years.
“We realise that these essential road closures and diversion routes will have an impact on some people’s working day commutes, and we would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience this may cause and offer our assurances that we will do everything we can to complete the work as safely and as quickly as possible.”
SSEN is hosting a Public Information Session at Fernhurst Village Hall, Glebe Road, Fernhurst GU27 3EH on Thursday 15 March, between 3pm-7:30pm, where members of the project team will be on hand to answer any questions that the local community may have about this essential work, and explain more about the benefits the 12-month project will bring. Free tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided.