‘Intrusive’ power lines cleared from Lancashire beauty spot

Five miles of overhead power lines have been removed permanently from a Lancashire beauty spot.

Monday, 20th April 2015, 7:50 am
BEFORE: Electric poles Roeburndale, Forest of Bowland

Over three years Electricity North West, the region’s power network operator, has spent £900,000 removing almost one hundred poles - most in place since the 1960s - from the Forest of Bowland area.

The company worked alongside Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) to replace the power lines with underground cables to improve the views and help safeguard local power supplies.

Mike Dugdale, programme delivery manager for Electricity North West, said: “We work hard to keep the lights on across the North West and the project required great skill to install the new cable.

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More than 30 electricity poles and 2.5km of overhead power lines, which have been in place since the 1960s, have been permanently removed from the popular Forest of Bowland in north Lancashire. AFTER picture

“In some areas, including Areas of Outstanding Beauty, power lines can become a dominant feature and we are proud to play a part in protecting Lancashire’s landscape.”

Elliott Lorimer, principal AONB officer for the Forest of Bowland, said: “We are very pleased to see these latest poles and power lines removed from the Forest of Bowland.

“Throughout the past three years we’ve worked very closely with Electricity North West and their hard work has made a significant contribution to enhancing the natural beauty of the area.”

It has been revealed that during the same time period, metal theft on Lancashire’s electricity network has fallen by 86 per cent.

New figures show there were 43 metal thefts reported across Lancashire in the past year, down from almost 320 in 2012.

The decline has been achieved by improving security, working closely with local police, trialling new pioneering marking technologies to trace stolen metal and changes in the law meaning scrap metal can no longer be sold for cash.

Steve Cox, head of engineering for Electricity North West, said: “It’s good to see this significant decline in metal theft across the North West, but we are still determined to continue our efforts and reduce it further.

“Stealing from the power network is extremely dangerous and it can also have an impact on the power supplies to homes and businesses and cause thousands of pounds worth of damage.”