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National Grid T-pylons work starts – public information events

From May 2020, National Grid are starting work to build the world’s first T-pylons from Bridgwater to Loxton, where they will connect with the underground cables they are installing across the Mendip Hills. Their first activity will be to build temporary road accesses and a temporary haul road along the route of the new overhead line. This will help them to keep construction traffic away from local roads.

Construction activity in this area will include:

temporary entrance and access roads
temporary haul road
pylon foundations and structures

Over the coming weeks people may see them carrying out surveys and vegetation clearance. Before they start work in May, they will write to properties close to the route and meet with the parish councils to keep them updated.

We are also holding public information events where you can come along to meet our project team and find out more.

Woolavington Village Hall

Tuesday 21 April 2020 NOW CANCELLED - see update below

4.00pm – 6.30 pm

The Hinkley Connection Project is a new high-voltage electricity connection between Bridgwater and Seabank near Avonmouth. It will connect low-carbon energy sources, including EDF Energy’s new     Hinkley Point C, to UK homes and businesses. The new connection will be 57 km long: 48.5 km of overhead line and 8.5 km of underground cable through the Mendip Hills.

To minimise the impact on the local landscape and make way for the new connection, they are removing over 67 km of existing overhead lines and pylons.

They recognise that their work will cause disruption and they are sorry for any inconvenience. They are working with their contractors, Balfour Beatty, to minimise disruption as best they can.

UPDATE

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, National Grid has had to postpone plans to meet with parish councils and local residents for the foreseeable future. They are sorry that they are unable to come and meet residents in person to provide more information on the start of construction for the T-pylons in May. Instead they are staying in contact by telephone and are providing information by email and on their website at www.hinkleyconnection.co.uk . They will also write to residents along the route.

The meetings will be rearranged when the restrictions have passed.

In terms of management of COVID-19, they are working with their contractors to ensure stringent measures are in place to prevent the spread of the virus, in line with Government guidelines. These include restricting movement between sites and social distancing.

Currently, surveys, ecological mitigation work and construction activity will continue as planned across the project but they recognise that this is a changing situation and will do their best to keep people updated.

During the week commencing Monday 23 March, Balfour Beatty will be carrying out some ecological mitigation on the rhynes along the route to protect water voles during the forthcoming construction work.

Members of the public may see staff with machinery working on the rhynes, occasionally this will be close to roads but not on the carriageways.

When they are delivering equipment down two very narrow country lanes, they will need to close them to traffic for a  short period of up to 15 minutes to allow them to safely turn the vehicles into the fields. The two roads affected are Pill Road and Vole Road in Mark.

They will need to close them again for 15 minutes when they bring the equipment out again.

They are sorry for any disruption to journeys and any inconvenience this may cause.

If you have any questions, please ring 0800 377 7347 or email at hinkleyconnection@nationalgrid.co.uk.

Hinkley Connection Project COVID-19 update

As an owner and operator of critical national infrastructure, National Grid know that millions of people are relying on them, now more than ever, to keep the lights on and the gas flowing. They have engineers working hard to ensure energy can be supplied safely and efficiently to hospitals, schools, businesses and homes across the country.

Many roles across their business have been designated as 'key worker' roles by the government and, at a time when everyone is being asked to stay at home wherever possible, some of their people are out there working to ensure the NHS can care for the sick, businesses and schools can continue to operate, and that people can work from home in these unusual circumstances. 

The Hinkley Connection Project is a critical national infrastructure project. These are works that have been given Government approval to continue to ensure the future running of the network. 

Following robust risk assessments and a comprehensive review of the programme of works, they are now, together with their contractors, continuing to progress with the critical elements of the project, in line with current Government guidance on construction activity.

Work on the project has been significantly reduced and  they have introduced stringent site operating procedures to safeguard the remaining workforce, their colleagues, their families and the UK population.  They have, for example, restricted travel between sites and removed skin contact entry systems, such as fingerprint scanners. To meet social distancing requirements, they are installing additional handwashing facilities and welfare cabins.

Work in this area over the coming weeks may include surveys and some ecological mitigation and vegetation clearance along the route of new T-pylons. 

They take their responsibilities to their employees and the communities in which they are working very seriously.  In this challenging and fast-moving situation, they are endeavouring to keep local communities informed via our project website and parish councils. If you have any questions about the works or would like further information on the safety measures they are taking, please contact the project team via 0800 377 7347 or by email at hinkleyconnection@nationalgrid.co.uk.