Littlehampton cable upgrade begins

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A £550,000 power upgrade is under way in Littlehampton to further strengthen the electricity network and meet future power demand.

The project is led by UK Power Networks, which owns and maintains the distribution cables and substations which keep the lights on in Sussex.

Over the next eight months the company is installing 1.2km of new underground cables between electricity substations in the town.

Work started this month and most of the ducts will be in the ground by December.

Later cables will be pulled into the ducts from points along the route.

Nirmal Kotecha, director of capital programme and procurement at UK Power Networks, said: “Electricity supplies have become much more reliable in recent years due to investment, maintenance and increasing automation of our systems. Making further improvements for customers is always our goal.

“In this project on the Sussex coast we are renewing high voltage electricity circuits between a number of substations and upgrading our Littlehampton primary substation. This work will increase the capacity of the network in the area and the resilience of power supplies for Littlehampton residents and businesses.”

The project involves digging a series of short excavations along the route to install a line of ducts which will contain new electricity cables. This method helps keep the length of the trenches, and the time they are left open, to a minimum. Once the initial ducts are in place engineers will return later to open excavations at various locations, through which the electricity cables will be connected to the network.

Electricity supplies will not be affected by the work. Although traffic restrictions will be necessary in places the company is writing to those most affected and has discussed its plans with the local authority to keep any impact on the community to a mimimum. Work in Queen Street and Cornwall Road is being postponed until the Easter school holidays to avoid too much impact on drop-off and pick-up times at the primary school.

UK Power Networks delivers power supplies to 8.1million customers across the South East, London and East Anglia, regardless of who customers pay their electricity bills to. This year it will invest £500million to upgrade and maintain its networks as part of a £4.5billion investment during the eight years to 2023 to keep power supplies safe and reliable for homes and businesses.

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