Council to use its powers to impose penalty on Northern Powergrid

Councillor Barry Collins
Councillor Barry Collins

Calderdale Council will look to use its power to enforce a penalty on Northern Powergrid after a power cut caused major disruption in Hebden Bridge.

A power cut affecting six houses required an emergency response by the utility company yesterday and resulted traffic lights being out of use.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, Councillor Barry Collins, said: “The level of traffic disruption in Hebden Bridge yesterday was utterly unacceptable and we will use our powers to enforce an appropriate level of penalty to Northern Powergrid.

“All utility companies, whether gas, electric or water, have a duty to notify the Council of any emergency works and we can impose restrictions.

“In this instance, our permit conditions were clear in that the traffic lights must be manned during peak hours.

"Unfortunately this wasn’t the case, and we are seeking an immediate explanation and apology from Northern Powergrid for the residents of the Upper Valley.”

Richard Bowers, Northern Powergrid’s Zone Manager responsible for the Hebden Bridge area, apologised for the delays caused after traffic lights failed in the town yesterday causing significant delays for road users.

“Following a power cut in the town emergency repairs were required to the underground electricity network on Market Street. We made the appropriate traffic management arrangements to reduce disruption whilst the repairs works, which included the manning the site at peak times.

“Our contractors should have ensured the lights were staffed at peak times to minimise disruption for local people.

"We are now seeking answers from them, as a priority, as to why the lights failed and why there was no one on site to support motorists and prevent any unnecessary delays.

“We are sorry about what happened and apologise to everyone who was delayed and inconvenienced yesterday. We’d like to reassure local residents that all of the works have now been completed and the traffic lights have been removed.”