A MAJOR £10 million project will get underway in Silsden later this month to upgrade the power network which serves the town.

Starting on Monday, May 24, and running until the end of 2024, the investment work consists of eleven separate schemes and focuses on replacing 5km of extra high voltage underground electricity cables, and 55km of overhead lines dating back to the 1960s, with more modern and sustainable alternatives.

A new electricity substation is also being constructed. This new equipment will be capable of meeting any future increase in the demand for power as the town develops, the population grows and more people swap their cars for electric vehicles.

The work will also see the replacement of several sections of these overhead lines with underground cables, which Northern Powergrid says will significantly enhance the appearance of the local landscape.

A number of electricity poles, including some prominent ones along the Leeds Liverpool Canal, will also be removed. 

Northern Powergrid is working closely with Bradford Council to agree the best routes and times for the work to take place.

The first scheme being carried out as part of this programme is being delivered by Excalon Limited on Northern Powergrid’s behalf.

It involves excavating in the roadway to replace the 2.5km of extra high voltage underground cable that runs between a Northern Powergrid substation located on Holden Lane, along Howden Road, St John’s Road/Clog Bridge, Hainsworth Road and Belton Road to near the junction of Keighley Road (A6034).

Details of this work are as follows (this information may be subject to change):

From Monday, May 24, for up to three weeks, a section of Holden Lane will be closed between the junctions of Hawber Lane and Brunthwaite Bridge Lane (access unaffected) while work is carried out around Northern Powergrid’s substation. A signposted diversion will be in place along Swine Lane, Bradford Road (B6265), Hard Ings Road, the A629 and Keighley Road.

From early-mid June until early July, the team will be working along Howden Road in short sections from the junction of Holden Lane to the junction of Clog Bridge/John Street. This will be carried out using multi-way traffic lights.

There will be a rolling day-time only road closure along Hainsworth Road from the junction of Clog Bridge/John Street to the junction of Belton Road from early July for up to three weeks. Only short sections of the road will be closed at any one time. Northern Powergrid will work with impacted residents and businesses to ensure they have access at all times.

The final section of this work along Belton Road from the junction of Hainsworth Road to the junction of Keighley Road (A6034) will be completed using multi-way traffic lights from mid-end July.

In late August, the company will return to dig four joint bays (excavations in the roadway) where sections of its new cable will be joined together. It is anticipated that any disruption will be limited and of a short duration.

There are a number of opportunities for people to find out more about Northern Powergrid’s work in the area:  

Michelle Jeffery, Northern Powergrid’s Customer Service Manager for the West Yorkshire region, said: “Our investment work in Silsden over the coming years will deliver some real positives for the local community, ensuring the reliability of the power supply and improving the visual appearance of the town.

“That said, we’re always very aware of the potential impact of our work on people’s everyday lives, especially when we know other utilities have been working in the area recently, which is why we’re doing all we can to support and communicate with local people while we carry out this important investment in the area’s electricity network.

“We’ll be issuing information to all affected customers to explain what we’ll be doing and when. Our letters will also provide details of how to sign up for free to our Priority Services Membership which offers extra support to customers who may be more vulnerable.  

“We’d encourage local residents and businesses to attend one of our forthcoming information sessions to find out more about what we’re doing, but if neither of these are suitable, please get in touch and we’ll arrange for one of our team to give you a call or come and visit you at home or work if that’s better for you.”

People can also find out more about the work by visiting northernpowergrid.com/silsden or contacting the company’s customer care team by calling 0800 011 3332. The network operator is also available 24/7 on Facebook and Twitter.