£3millon upgrade of electricity network in Birkenhead

SP Energy Networks has launched a £3million upgrade programme to modernise the electricity network in Birkenhead, ensuring a safe, reliable and resilient electricity supply for customers in the area for years to come.

The investment project will remove a series of overhead lines and replace them with new modern underground cables between Birkenhead and Prenton grid substations.

This will play a vital part in future-proofing the electricity distribution network for the area delivering increased capacity to support increasing demand for green energy. The work will benefit local communities, reinforcing electricity supplies for 98,000 homes and businesses connected to the network, as well as facilitating future needs for decades to come.

The project demonstrates SP Energy Networks’ continued commitment of investment across the Wirral and will support ongoing expansion of low carbon technologies in the area.

The first phase of the works, which will involve the installation of 1.2km of 132,000-volt underground cables, will take place from the week commencing Monday 18 April until week ending 26 June 2022.

These activities are being programmed to minimise disruption for residents, road users, pedestrians and other stakeholders.  

During this period, the following road closures are planned to be in place:

  • Melford Drive: 18 – 22 April
  • Prenton Dell Road: 25 April – 13 May
  • Woodchurch Road (outer lane and centre lane closed): 14 – 15 May (weekend)
  • Woodchurch Road (both centre lanes closed): 16 May – 24 June
  • Woodchurch Road (centre lane and outer lane closed): 25 – 26 June (weekend)

There are lane closures affecting Woodchurch Road, which are necessary to ensure the safety of the project team as well as members of the public and road users. Variable Message Signs (VMS) will be placed in advance of the works to inform members of the public and road users.

SP Energy Networks’ community relations team has been liaising with local residents and Councillors in the area ahead of the work and will share ongoing updates as the work continues.

The second phase of the works, which are located in Prenton Dell Road, will be confirmed at a later stage, though are expected to have a duration of three weeks.

Finally, the overhead conductor and towers that cross Woodchurch Road are programmed to be removed from September, though subject to gaining a temporary road closure for a short duration to safeguard the SP Energy Network teams and members of the public.

Mark Sobczak, 132kV General Manager at SP Energy Networks, said, “This significant investment and major upgrade will strengthen the existing electricity network in Birkenhead and provide a more resilient network.

“It also supports the network of the future as the region shifts to greener energy solutions, which requires a modern network capable of supporting increased demands. We are working closely with Wirral Council to minimise the disruption to the local community wherever possible.”

A spokesperson for Wirral Council, said. “This is a significant investment to upgrade the electricity network around Prenton and the wider Birkenhead area. When major works such as this take place we know it can disrupt our communities and we appreciate the patience and support shown by residents and passers-by. To try and keep disruption to a minimum, the council is working closely with SP Energy Networks to ensure the works are planned and co-ordinated around other scheduled works, including the council’s annual roads programme”

SP Energy Networks owns and manages overhead and underground powerlines in Central and Southern Scotland as well as Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales and North Shropshire.

Images: GOOGLE

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