‘Power play is a double whammy to hard-hit Hamworthy’

July 8, 2021

CIRCUIT UPGRADE: This is the view facing residents on Blandford Road looking towards the town centre as they see their road dug up by Scottish and Southern Electricity Network to put down underground cables to upgrade existing power connections. The covered up traffic lights is normally used to direct traffic to Rigler Road towards the Twin Sails Bridge. This road will see various delays until 20 August.

SUDDEN IMPACT: This is a message of frustration posted on the window of a Hamworthy-based barber expressing their frustration at the prolonged period that Scottish and Southern Electricity Network will be along Blandford Road and other parts of the Poole suburb until 20 August.

WARNING SIGN: This sign near the Red Lion warns motorists coming down from Upton and Hamworthy that the end of the road awaits them further down.

 

 

 

DIGGING up roads by electricity contractors in Poole over a period of three months is causing small businesses along a main road to haermorrhage income and misery to local residents.


Since 10 May, Scottish and Southern Electricity Network has been installing 2.8 kilometres of underground cable as part of a circuit upgrade to existing power connections.


SSEN are replacing 132KV circuits between Poole Grid and Ham Common Tower compound, which are part of the Poole/Wareham – Poole/Winfrith Heath/Organford circuits. Full details of this upgrade can be found here.

They says the existing cables are “reaching the end of its working life” and the new upgrade will allow for “future commercial and residential connections” but there does not seem to be much sympathy for those who are taking the economic hits while already suffering from current Coronavirus restrictions.

As from Monday 5 July Blandford Road has been closed half way up between the town bridge and the entrance to Tuckers Lane, causing motorists who live on the Hamworthy and Upton side of the roadworks to do a six mile detour if they work or want to travel in the town centre or beyond.

That same day traffic was backing up for at least an hour in and out of the Poole conurbation along Poole Road where motorists turn off from Upton Park and at the top of Blandford Road next to the old Upton Oil Company where the new Aldi store is being built.

‘Letter sent to occupier, not named residents’

The electricity company claims in its circular sent through people’s doors that they have been “liaising with properties” but actually addressed their letters to the “occupier of the address” which could have inadvertently been seen by the owners as junk mail as they were not personally addressed to them.

Ian Daniels, the company’s project manager says in the circular letter: “Please be assured that we will endeavour to make as little impact as possible, but that some minimal disruption is inevitable due to the nature of working in the highway.

‘We will do our utmost to keep access clear as possible’

“As you are aware some locations are narrow roads which cater many residents. We will do our utmost to keep access as clear as possible, however we would advise you to park your vehicles on neighbouring roads or nearby car parks, where possible.”

The section of Blandford Road being dug up will take up a further six weeks to complete ending on 20 August and by then there will be a better idea of what economic pain businesses on the road and off it will take by the time they have finished

The local press when reporting the disruption gives the impression “never mind, get on with it”. Try telling that or selling that to the small convenience chain half way up Blandford Road that says these obstructions are causing to have a 25 per cent reduction in income on top of the the pressures of the existing pandemic.

Was the consultation adequate enough when taking into consideration the likely collateral damage that would effect businesses off Blandford Road or in industrial estates?

‘We are opening late due to traffic’

This was the message in a hairdresser’s shop window not far from the Red Lion pub: It reads: “Due to ongoing works and closures please bear with us. Opening will be a little late if traffic is bad. Thank you for patience.” The owner clearly feels he has to take the hit of forfeiting hours of business due to the traffic. Mr Daniels, are you listening?

I have also spoken to a newsagent who is dreading when the contractors move further along Blandford Road and dig up the road outside his premises. Business has already fallen away for him.

‘Our newspaper van now has to do a six-mile detour’

What was noticeable that in conjunction with “saving the environment”, some of the newspaper deliveries done in front of the part of Blandford Road via vehicle means a six mile detour to get this done but the newspaper boys and girls on their bikes if delivering to addresses to near the bridge, can access the other side of the road via getting on and off via the pavement.

These are real people with everyday concerns but hopefully these contractors or Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch Council won’t be using the pathetic hashtags of #BeKind or #WereAllInThisTogether because due to the level of pain being inflicted currently, it might be worth liaising with these businesses and give them hope rather than potentially hide behind a rock.

  • IF you live locally and don’t have to drive or able to do so locally, please support your small convenience stores, takeaways, garages and industrial yards. They will need your support to get through this difficult phase, so try and #BuyLocal when you can.

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