Pylon alternative proposed

CAMPAIGNERS fighting plans for huge pylons to be installed across the North Somerset countryside have compiled an innovative alternative.

Groups in the area to be affected by National Grid’s plans for a 37-mile long, 400,000 volt power line have proposed installing the line at ground level, with a raised pathway covering the top.

Wraxall and Failand Parish Council commissioned two engineers to examine the options available for transmitting electricity over long distances.

Their proposals would see gas insulated lines (GIL) placed in a shallow tray along the ground, which would be covered by a raised pathway. This could then become a long-distance walking and cycle way.

This technology has been in use for more than 30 years and is used by National Grid at two UK sites.

Wraxall and Failand parish councillor and engineer Chris Ambrose said: “The theory is that GIL will work.

“We’ve shown the line going underneath a footpath but it can even go above the ground.

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“The cost will be more than an overhead line but we don’t believe it will be as much as National Grid is saying.”

The Somerset Alliance Against Pylons, which is made up of a number of campaign groups, has called on National Grid to seriously consider the proposal.

National Grid’s plans to create a power line between Hinkley Point and Avonmouth will see 150ft pylons installed along the route. Campaigners are keen to see the lines installed under the ground or under the sea to limit the visual damage the project could cause.

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