The region’s power operator has announced it has invested £130m in the network to help keep the lights on in homes and businesses this Christmas.
Almost one year on since the region was hit by severe weather on Boxing Day, bringing widespread damage to the overhead line network due to falling trees, Electricity North West has spent the past year assessing and strengthening power supplies and services.
The financial boost, which will benefit more than five million customers, includes £16m in upgrading 9,000 poles and pylons and 32km of overhead power lines and £4m on cutting back tree branches that pose a risk to 1,600km of power lines.
Mark Williamson, operations director for Electricity North West, said: “We have worked hard over the past 12 months reviewing how we operate and we have invested heavily in strengthening and maintaining the network so we are fully prepared for any severe weather which may impact the network this winter.
“Last Christmas more than 40,000 customers across the North West were without power due to severe weather. Our engineers worked around the clock and restored power to 98 percent of customers within 24 hours.
“Unfortunately power cuts can still happen due to circumstances out of our control, but our continual investment will help minimise the impact and get homes and businesses back on as quickly as possible.”
If anyone sees electricity poles or equipment damaged by severe weather this winter they are urged to keep a safe distance as it may still be live and to contact Electricity North West as quickly as possible on its emergency 24-hour line 0800 195 4141.