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Work aims to reduce power cuts in Otley homes
Extra electricity upgrading work has begun in Otley to ensure the town’s Christmas lights don’t cause a blackout.
Northern Powergrid is already carry-ing out a £1.2m scheme to improve its supply network after serious weaknesses were highlighted by a spate of power cuts at the end of 2011.
Now the company has announced that, as its high-voltage improvement works near completion, it urgently needs to also bolster its low-voltage infrastructure in Westgate.
The firm is keen to stop any problems arising once Otley’s festive lights are switched on – scheduled for November 19 – and as people begin to use increasing amounts of electricity to heat and light homes through winter.
Now it is replacing a cable in Westgate and splitting the load between two areas to increase capacity. The work began on Monday and is expected to be completed by November 2.
Councillor Ryk Downes praised Northern Powergrid for addressing the problem quickly.
He said: “They have looked at it and thought, especially with the Christmas lights switch-on coming up, the source of the lower voltage network could be a little bit unreliable.
“They want to get this done now so it’s all up and running and should avoid future problems, which I welcome.”
Replacing the domestic supply cable in Westgate has involved working near the Cross Pipes pub this week, and next week will see roadworks carried out from Granville Mount to Piper Lane and across Westgate to beside The Fleece Inn.
Northern Powergrid was criticised back in May after a Bank Holiday weekend power cut affected about 1,500 homes and a number of businesses.
That cut led to MP Greg Mulholland demanding the company should pay compensation.