ScottishPower has issued a stark warning to dangerous fly-tippers who dump their waste on land near Chapelknowe Road, Carfin, following a string of recent incidents that have damaged overhead power lines carrying thousands of volts of electricity and left hundreds of nearby homes without power.
The power company has been called to the same location four times in the last three months after vehicles have damaged the lines, causing power to be lost in nearly 200 nearby homes on each occasion. When engineers arrive to fix the problem, they have spotted the same tell-tale signs that the poles or wires have been hit by a vehicle, with dumped materials nearby.
In light of the continuing problems and obvious dangers, ScottishPower has launched a freephone security hotline (0800 027 1950) for any concerned members of the public to report suspicious activity near the power lines.
The company has also been in close contact with the landowners and Health & Safety Executive regarding the incidents, and has also been in recent contact with the police.
Discussing the impact on nearby homes and stressing the dangers of the fly-tippers actions, Frank Mitchell, Director of ScottishPower Energy Networks, said: “The fly-tippers who are damaging the power lines are very fortunate that they have not been seriously injured up until now. There are 11,000 volts of electricity flowing through the power lines and, if someone comes into direct contact with this, the consequences could be fatal.
“Clearly these actions are also dangerous to anyone walking or living nearby, not to mention the huge inconvenience for the homes that are left without power as a result of the damage. Our engineers are also being exposed to unnecessary risks when being tasked with continual repairs. We are asking anyone who spots suspicious activity near the power lines to call our freephone hotline or to contact the police.”
In the long-term, ScottishPower is making plans to run the power cables underground, and is hoping to start work later in the year. Until then, the company is hoping that the local community will help with the crackdown against the dangerous fly-tippers.
Media Information: Paul Ferguson, 0141 566 4515