Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Assurances given following "pointless" road closures

Further to my previous article from Sunday regarding my astonishment that, after five weeks of roads disruption to facilitate the replacement of high-voltage underground electricity cabling by Scottish & Southern Energy, the company had abandoned the work, yesterday I obtained assurances from Scottish & Southern Energy that there can be no repeat of this debacle.

Scottish & Southern Energy’s Base Capex Manager has advised me that :

“   …  the works have been postponed due to the failure of the 132kV cable during the final testing regime in the manufacturer’s factory. This cable is specially constructed so it can be installed through the existing steel pipework that SSE have connected between Dudhope and Glenagnes substations. The cable was tested at all stages of its construction and the failure only became apparent when all the individual components were assembled and tested.  The manufacturer is a leading exponent of the manufacture and jointing of this type of cable and subsequently we had no concerns when the order was placed upon them, as SSE were content with their quality standards that meets the international recognised norm. 

With regards the early testing of the final cable, the manufacturer works on the same basis as all cable manufacturers and use the JIT (Just In Time) process, as the subsequent testing and storage of large quantities of cable in usually not a viable option at the manufacturer factory as space is a premium.  The manufacture of second batch of cable will be fully tested 2 months ahead of the revised installation. This is very unusual and has been agreed due to this failure of the first batch of cable which is now in the process of being scrapped.

As the reinstatement of the roads were originally planned for September, BBUSL are  now in the process of writing specifications and  placing orders so that the road and any paths will be fully reinstated with no deterioration to the surface as pre April 2016. This will be monitored on completion, as the original scope prescribed.”

This project has had a real impact on traffic over the past five weeks – for example, increased tailbacks on Lochee Road, the complete closure of Blinshall Street and Fleuchar Street and lane restrictions in Glenagnes Road and Scott Street.   To say it’s a disappointment to learn its all been for nothing and that Scottish & Southern Energy will be coming back to repeat it all again next year is something of an understatement.

I am at least relieved that Scottish & Southern Energy has given a promise to restore the roads back to the condition they were in prior to the work and that the second batch of cable will be pre-tested before the works go ahead for the second attempt in 2017.    However, its all proved to be a costly exercise this time around in terms of both the financial cost to Scottish & Southern Energy and inconvenience to local residents.    Lessons obviously must be learned from this.