‘Se­ri­ous con­cerns’ at ex­plod­ing pave­ments

Lon­don Assem­bly mem­ber fears con­se­quences

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Nathan Spen­de­low

‘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

is re­placed be­comes

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.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.