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Preston residents assured power lines pose 'no safety risk'

Preston railway station.
Preston railway station.

Residents living close to a rail route in Preston due to be electrified later this month have been reassured over health and safety concerns.

Vast overhead power-lines installed in Ashton and part of the city to Blackpool route will go live on December 27.

Network bosses have sent a letter to “railway neighbours” informing them to take “extra care in the vicinity of the energised equipment” which will be charged with 25,000 volts.

Residents, who have asked to remain anonymous, have contacted the Lancashire Post concerned that the power lines pose a safety threat.

But a spokesperson for Network Rail said there is no danger “to any persons provided they do not enter onto railway land (and are always nine feet from the overhead lines if their property is adjacent to the railway).”

The letter includes a warning not to use cranes, ladders or scaffolding near to the power lines.

The electrification of the Preston to Blackpool line has been in progress for months and is part of a £1bn project across the North West to deliver “cleaner, quieter and more reliable journeys.”

On Wednesday, December 20, high voltage power cables will be buried at Preston traction substation, located on the railway line near to St Walburge’s Church in Weston Street, Network Rail said.

A week later, the overhead power lines from St Walburge’s Church to the Maudland Viaduct in Marsh Lane will then be “electrified”.

Local concerns

Residents living close to the site have also raised concerns over the level of noise caused by the works, which have been carried out at night-time to avoid disruption on the rail route.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “Letters recently sent to railway neighbours have informed them of work taking place.

"We can reassure residents there are no health hazards surrounding the work, this is a precautionary measure to remind the public to never trespass onto the railway.

"Due to the risks of serious or life-threatening injury, we always advise not to use cranes, ladders or emissions of flammable gases and vapours close to an area of overhead line equipment.”