Series of power cuts sparks work on cables
7:57am Saturday 9th March 2013 in News
ELECTRICITY bosses are planning to spend £1.2 million improving Westhoughton and Chew Moor’s network because of the number of power cuts over the last few months.
The work, which has already started, could involve laying more than 8km of underground cable to improve the service for about 7,000 people.
Electricity North West decided to carry out the work after a series of five power cuts affecting residents in Westhoughton and Chew Moor between November and February.
Most recently, on February 22, 4,000 residents had no supply for about three-and-a-half hours because of a fault.
During a previous incident, residents were in the dark for seven hours.
Programme delivery manager Ian Greenwood, from Electricity North West, told The Bolton News that he wanted to apologise to customers who had been affected.
He said: “Our engineers worked hard to restore supplies as quickly as possible.
“We are investing £1.2million in the local electricity network to ensure residents receive a more efficient and reliable electricity supply which they can benefit from for many years to come.”
Following the blackouts, Cllr Christopher Peacock, who represents Westhoughton North and Chew Moor, contacted Steve Johnson, chief executive of Electricity North West, calling for the firm to investigate.
He said he had been contacted by a number of worried constituents and suffered disruption himself when friends were visiting.
“The disruption caused by repeated power cuts over a relatively short period of time is extremely frustrating to residents and I’m glad they are acting to tackle this problem,” he said.
“Personally I had friends visiting during the last power cut which included a four-year-old.
“Having no power is inconvenient, but when it also affects your hot water supply for a considerable amount of time it is difficult.”
The work will involve two phases of laying underground electricity cables in Atherton, which feeds supplies to Westhoughton and Chew Moor. The first phase is due to finish in May, while the second will start in the summer and will take two months.
Electricity North West bosses say remote control facilities will be installed to ensure most residents’ power is restored automatically if a problem occurs.
The firm says a fault at a substation, the severe weather and a problem with the high voltage underground network caused previous cuts, and that all issues are now repaired.