Dales village “blighted by telegraph poles and cables,” council told

Wires in Thoralby. Photo: Pip Pointon.

Thoralby is blighted with telegraph poles and cables, Simon Lawrence told Aysgarth and District Parish Council at its last meeting.

“Someone could die,”  he said, because not only were these unsightly but some of the electricity cables were dangerous as they were too close to where people might be working on roofs.

He told the council that when a cable fell down at his house he contacted Northern Power Grid. Workmen put tape round it but also told him that it was a BT cable. After two years of trying to get BT to do something he went onto social media and within two days BT did send some men to fix the cable – with more tape.

Recently he reported to Northern Power Grid that workmen had left a cable hanging. It was evening before men arrived to ask what the problem was he said. “Eventually, after a lot of grumbling, they did tack it back onto a pole.

“It’s not exactly Third World but it’s pretty old-fashioned to have all these horrible electric cables strung across the road. There’s a lot of traffic up Westfield Lane – tractors and lots of bigger farm vehicles. So you can see the potential problems there.

“In this day and age, when we can build tunnels across the Channel, I can’t see why they couldn’t have a plan to put the majority of these cables underground over a period of time.”

Mr Lawrence said he had been in contact with the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority about its scheme with power suppliers to underground cables.  He learnt that the present scheme continues until 2023 and does not include any villages in Wensleydale or Bishopdale. The parish council agreed to support him in asking for Thoralby to be included in the next scheme.

It also agreed to ask if, in the meantime,  Northern Power Grid could remove any redundant poles and cables and make safe those that remain.

The Aysgarth councillors explained that contractors had broken some stone storm drains when undergrounding was carried out along the south side of the village. They advised, therefore, that a plan of the drains in Thoralby should be drawn up before any undergrounding took place, and that advice should be sought from any other villages where such work had been carried out.

They also suggested that there should be a site meeting in Thoralby with the YDNPA’s planning policy officer. And Richmondshire District councillor Yvonne Peacock said Mr Lawrence should also write to Sunak Rishi MP as he was now the Parliamentary Under Secretary for State at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

“I think the authorities ought to be obliged to come back with a plan about how they are going to do it because it can’t stay like this for ever,” Mr Lawrence commented.

ARC News Service