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August 16, 2019

Investment in Southern England Electricity Network

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) have been chosen to deliver upgrade works on the electricity infrastructure across southern England. The substantial improvement programme, representing an investment of £32 million, reaches across parts of Hampshire, Wiltshire, Somerset and Dorset and includes the replacement of poles, conductors and plant such as

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Upgrade Announced for Trans-Pennine Route

Highways England has announced plans for a major upgrade to the A69 Bridge End junction, which aims to reduce congestion, and improve journey times and safety for thousands of drivers. A multi-million upgrade will save drivers around an hour a week, and the installation of permanent average speed cameras to

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BDC 318 : Jul 2024

August 16, 2019

Investment in Southern England Electricity Network

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) have been chosen to deliver upgrade works on the electricity infrastructure across southern England. The substantial improvement programme, representing an investment of £32 million, reaches across parts of Hampshire, Wiltshire, Somerset and Dorset and includes the replacement of poles, conductors and plant such as substations and underground link boxes. Innovative automation systems have also been placed on the network and some sections of overhead line have been undergrounded. All measures will improve the resilience of power supplies to homes and businesses across the region – supporting growth and wider community needs. Network reliability is a key priority for SSEN and the customers its serves and SSEN’s multi-million pound investment to further improve network resilience and future-proof its infrastructure for customers’ changing demands follows local customer engagement. This is part of SSEN’s commitment to ensuring customers have more involvement in investment decisions in vital infrastructure. Head of Region for Wessex, Jo Niven, discussed the importance of the projects with Dr Lewis and outlined how they will support a reduction in power cuts to his constituents. Jo said: “As a responsible network operator, SSEN makes a commitment to our customers to do all we can to keep the lights on 24/7; by completing over £32 million pounds of works across Wessex in the last three years, we are reinforcing that commitment to the residents and businesses across the region who rely on us to power their day. “This three year programme marks a significant investment to an area which has differing needs across its rural and urban environments, and SSEN embarked on these works to strengthen the power supplies to homes, businesses and communities in Wessex, while reinforcing an infrastructure that it is robust enough to meet future needs.” Dr Julian Lewis MP added: “I’m greatly encouraged to see the level of investment being made in the electricity infrastructure that powers the homes and businesses of my constituents. “With three years of works completed, SSEN is providing Wessex with a power supply fit for the future and whatever changes may come to the region as it grows and develops in the years ahead.” While a total of seventeen large-scale projects have been completed in the last three years, five of the key projects benefitting from the £32 million investment are:  • £7.5 million in refurbishing the 132kV overhead lines between Axminster and Yeovil • £5 million in reinforcing the 33kV infrastructure across Velmore, Bishopstoke and Netley Common • £4.3 million in refurbishing the 132 kV overhead lines between Poole and Winfrith Heath • £3.8 million in rebuilding the 33kV overhead line towers between Chickerell and Winterbourne Abbass • £2.8 million in reinforcing the 33kV network between Redhill and Victoria Park though cable overlay. All of the above projects carried out as part of this programme were completed on time and on budget.

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Upgrade Announced for Trans-Pennine Route

Highways England has announced plans for a major upgrade to the A69 Bridge End junction, which aims to reduce congestion, and improve journey times and safety for thousands of drivers. A multi-million upgrade will save drivers around an hour a week, and the installation of permanent average speed cameras to improve safety at two locations along the road, are due to start in the next two months. Highways England project manager Russell Mclean said: “The A69 is used by around 26,000 drivers every day and these essential improvements will make the A69 safer while reducing congestion and improving journeys. “The Bridge End upgrade will also improve access from the A69 into Hexham, reducing the amount of accidents at the junction and aiding any future proposals to dual the route.” The permanent average speed cameras are being installed at two locations along the A69, between Hexham West and Haydon Bridge and between Warwick and Corby Hill following a safety review. Work between Hexham and Haydon Bridge starts in early September for around six weeks. Most of the work will take place in the verge however temporary traffic lights may be needed at times. Work between Warwick and Corby Hill is due to start at the end of October for around three weeks. The improvements are being carried out in partnership with Cumbria and Northumbria police forces. In October work starts on upgrading the junction at Bridge End. This means lowering the A69 under the junction so drivers are able to continue along the route without having to use the roundabout. As part of the work around 90,000 cubic metres of soil is being removed, two new bridges are being created, new drainage is being installed and the entire junction will be resurfaced. The improvements, announced by the Department for Transport in the autumn statement back in 2016, are being funded as part of the £220 million Congestion Relief Fund and can only be spent on the Bridge End and Styford work. To carry out the work a reduced speed limit of 30mph and temporary average speed cameras will be in place for the safety of drivers and the workforce while the junction is upgraded. Alterations to the roundabout will also be made to allow contractors to work safely on the junction. The roundabout will be open to traffic by next winter although some work will need to be completed once the new road layout is in place. Residents and businesses will be invited to an information event that is due to be held in September prior to work starting. Further details will be released shortly. Before work starts at the junction, some minor resurfacing work will be carried out nearby from Monday 09 September so drivers can continue to have smooth and safe journeys.

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