Monday, 30 November 2015

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Trees cut down in bid to stop power cuts in north Cumbria

Trees are to be chopped down in a bid to prevent families repeatedly being left without power.

Tree felling photo
A mechanical timber harvesters in the forest at Tarn Moss

Residents in Troutbeck, near Penrith, have been severely affected by power cuts on several occasions over the past month.

High winds during the recent storms have caused trees to fall on power lines. The lines have been broken and poles snapped and initial repairs were hampered by a combination of bad weather and their location.

Electricity North West has carried out repair work on the broken power lines. Staff also met residents and landowners to discuss a long-term solution.

The firm is investing £11,000 in felling 600m of trees which are in falling distance of the overhead power lines.

Jane Fleetwood, Electricity North West’s response manager for Cumbria, said:“I apologise to residents and businesses in the Troutbeck area for the power cuts in December caused by the high winds.

“We transport electricity to the area via overhead power lines running through the forest between Penruddock and Troutbeck.

“Unfortunately, due to the recent extreme weather a number of trees have fallen on the line, causing broken lines and snapped poles.

“On each occasion our engineers have made repairs and restored power but a combination of the weather and location made getting the necessary equipment to site very challenging, meaning that some repairs have taken significantly longer than we would have liked.

“This week we are investing £11,000 in a long-term solution for residents to fell trees which are in falling distance to our power lines to ensure local homes and businesses receive a reliable supply of electricity.”

The work will be carried out over three days on private land by the vegetation management team.

Villagers have complained that the power cuts were leaving them stressed and some said they felt “disappointed and let down”.

Local business owners described the situation as an “absolute nightmare” and called for long-term solutions.

The company says it has a range of advanced systems in place to keep power cuts to a minimum but they can and do still happen.


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