‘Serious concerns’ at exploding pavements
London Assembly member fears consequences
‘PAVEMENT explosions’ sparked by faulty underground cables or link boxes could have ‘serious consequences’, according to Hillingdon’s London Assembly member.
Dr Onkar Sahota AM said there have been nearly 80 cases of exploding surfaces in five years.
Eighteen of those explosions have reportedly taken place in postcodes in the Labour politician’s Ealing and Hillingdon constituency.
Dr Onkar Sahota said UK Power Networks, the company responsible for running and maintaining the power cables in London and the south east, must ensure that old and unsafe cabling and equipment before it dangerous.
He said: “Thankfully, pavement explosions are relatively rare but when they do occur the consequences can be very serious.
“With more than 40 explosions last year and two in the Ealing and Hillingdon area alone, it’s time UK Power Networks did everything possible to crack down on this potentially life threatening problem.
“This is a company which made almost £200 million profit last year. It shouldn’t be too much to ask for them to invest a little of that in overhauling their ageing electricity supply network and stepping up inspections.”
The London Assembly Labour group cite figures from the Health and
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They state that around half of the incidents occurred last year, with more than 40 ‘disruptive’ incidents reported in 2014 alone.
A UK Power Networks spokesman said: “This is a global issue and UK Power Networks is recognised as one of the industry leaders in tackling it.
“We have worked tirelessly since taking on the responsibility of London’s electricity network five years ago to maintain, replace and invest in our equipment.
“This includes carrying out more than 40,000 underground inspections. Moving forward, we are looking to spend around £1.5 billion over the next seven years to ensure that London’s electricity network continues to be the UK’s most reliable.”