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16/01/12: New Year power project in Geltsdale

Engineering work to replace overhead power lines running along Geltsdale Road with underground electricity cables is due to start later this month.

It is the latest phase of a major project to improve the local views and landscapes in the area by moving overhead lines underground.

Electricity North West, the company that manages the regional power network, will permanently remove 16 electricity poles identified as being most visually intrusive in the area and lay 1.6km of new cable underneath the road leading to Geltsdale village. The work will start at the end of January and is due to be completed in May.

Electricity North West, Cumbria County Council and the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership have worked together on plans to minimise local traffic disruption. However, as a precaution, motorists using the Geltsdale Road between 20 February and 25 April are being advised that they may experience longer than normal journey times.

Jonathan Booth, asset planning manager at Electricity North West, said: “The new phase of the project to install underground cable will be completed as quickly as possible. We aim to carry out the work with minimum disruption to local businesses, residents and visitors to the area.”

Simon Wilson, Project Development Officer with the North Pennines AONB Partnership, said: “Although this new phase of work may involve some short-term disruption, the long-term benefits will be tremendous.

"Electricity North West has successfully completed phase one, which has involved work in rural areas and the removal of overhead power lines and poles to restore local landscapes to their original glory. The overall project is scheduled for completion by the end of May and we’re looking forward to seeing the full impact of the work.”

The work in Castle Carrock and Geltsdale is part of five-year £5.4m scheme by Electricity North West to place electricity lines underground to enhance the North West countryside and support local tourism.

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