POWER supply upgrade work has begun in the Holme Valley in a bid to cut out blackouts.
Electricity staff have started work on a costly, major scheme to reinforce the electricity supply to Meltham, Honley and Netherthong after the area was blighted with multiple power cuts earlier this year.
In January about 300 Netherthong homes were affected by intermittent power cuts, some of which lasted 11 hours, and children at Netherthong Primary School were sent home.
The problems were caused by a series of simultaneous faults in overhead and underground power lines which needed extensive repairs.
A spokeswoman for CE Electric UK said following the problems engineers had now surveyed overhead lines in the area and developed a plan of works to improve the reliability of the supply.
Last week field staff from the company started work on the first phase of the scheme, trimming back trees which had grown into power lines and renovating electricity equipment.
The second phase of work, to start in the summer, involves digging up old cables and should be complete by the end of the year.
The spokeswoman said the exact roads affected and dates of the work were yet to be confirmed but did say 1,000m of new underground electricity cable would be laid. Equipment to enable engineers to restore electricity supplies remotely from their control centre in Leeds is also planned.
Currently CE Electric has to dispatch a member of staff to restore supplies manually.
CE Electric UK engineer and scheme designer, Peter Flack, said: "These works will ensure that the electricity supply in the area is fit for today and fit for the future.
"The scheme is quick to deliver and will bring long-term benefits for residents and businesses in Holme Valley who we recognise have experienced a lot of disruption in recent months as a result of power cuts. We said we would look into it and do something about it, so it is extremely satisfying to announce the start of work on site.
"This work represents a considerable investment in the electricity supply to this beautiful corner of Yorkshire."
Residents can find out more about the project at a special information roadshow at Town Gate, Netherthong on Monday from 1pm – 5pm.
CE Electric UK will also be attending the Holme Valley Parish Council meeting at 7.30pm on Monday.
CONTACT: Further information can be obtained by calling the Community Relations Line on 0800 076 3850, Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.