Pavement 'Explosions' on The Rise

New figures lead to safety concerns

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There's been an increase in pavement 'explosions' and lives are being put at risk according to the area's London Assembly Member.

New figures have revealed almost 80 incidents in London in the last five years with 18 happening in postcodes in and around Ealing and Hillingdon.

Around half of the incidents occurred last year, 40 ‘disruptive’ incidents were reported in 2014. This comes despite HSE stating that they stepped up inspections in April last year.

The explosions are generally caused by electrical faults with underground electrical equipment (primarily link boxes or cable pits) due to poor maintenance of the network.

Dr Onkar Sahota Labour Assembly Member for Ealing & Hillingdon said UK Power Networks, the company responsible for running and maintaining the power cables in London and the South East, must do more to ensure that old and unsafe cabling and equipment was replaced before it became dangerous.

Dr Onkar Sahota said: “Thankfully pavement explosions are relatively rare but when they do occur the consequences can be very serious.

“With more than 40 explosions last year and two in the Ealing and Hillingdon area alone, it’s time UK Power Networks did everything possible to crack down on this potentially life threatening problem.

“This is a company which made almost two hundred million pounds profit last year. It shouldn’t be too much to ask for them to invest a little of that in overhauling their aging electricity supply network and stepping up inspections.”

UK Power Networks say they do not cover Ealing or Hillingdon.

A spokesperson said '' We have worked tirelessly since taking on the responsibility of London’s electricity network 5 years ago to maintain, replace and invest in our equipment, this includes carrying out more than 40,000 underground inspections.

“Moving forward we are looking to spend around £1.5 billion over the next seven years to ensure that London’s electricity network continues to be the UK’s most reliable.''

8th September 2015