Going … going … gone!

Residents say goodbye to 9km of overhead lines and pylons

National Grid has completed the removal of nine kilometres of overhead lines and pylons owned by Western Power Distribution (WPD) between the west end of Nailsea and Portishead.

Specialist engineering teams have removed 35 of the sixty-year-old pylons and wires that once dotted the landscape, crossing homes and gardens, alongside the lion and bear enclosures at Noah’s Ark Zoo and the M5.

The work began with the felling of the first three pylons by Nailsea Rugby Club. The remaining 33 pylons were removed between August and October. The local community said goodbye to the last pylon on Tuesday 12 October 2021.

National Grid contacted local residents ahead of this work and stayed in touch with households that had a pylon in their garden or wires going over their properties.

Residents in the west end of Nailsea were particularly pleased to see the pylons disappear one by one. The view from their properties changed almost overnight.

Mr and Mrs Powell of Godwin Drive, Nailsea, said: “We have lived in the same house and looked out at the pylon beyond our garden boundary for over forty years. Seeing it be removed felt like a historical moment and the view from our garden is even more special now. It has been lovely sitting outside in the autumn sunshine looking out at a wide-open sky. We have appreciated being kept updated and been impressed the efficient and professional team’s work and excellent communication throughout the project.”

Aden Precious, Project Engineer for National Grid, said: “Now the specialist team has completed removing the pylons between Nailsea and Portishead, they are all set for the next challenge to start removing 37 kilometres of existing pylons between Bridgwater and Sandford from this month. Taking these pylons down will leave part of the Mendip Hills pylon-free for the first time since the 1960s!”

He added: “Our contractors will use the most appropriate traffic routes and WPD’s accesses to reach and remove each of the pylons. The vehicles used for this work will display signs so they can be easily identified as working to remove the pylons. Visit roadworks and traffic management for locations and timings of roadworks in each area.

“During 2023, we’ll remove the second line of WPD pylons that runs from Sandford to Avonmouth. We’ll have removed 67 kilometres of overhead line by the time the project is completed in 2025.

“We’re removing these pylons to make way for the new 57-kilometre high-voltage electricity line, which when complete will connect six million homes and businesses to new sources of low-carbon energy and support the UK’s ambition to achieve its net zero by 2050 target.”

Overhead wires removed from across Nailsea homes and gardens

View from Mr Powell's garden before the wires and pylon are removed

Balfour Beatty at work to remove the wires from the pylon near Mr Powell's garden

Attaching a winch to the top of the pylon before lowering it safely to the ground

View from Mr Powell's garden with the pylon removed

Preparing to recover the wires above the lion enclosure at Noah's Ark Zoo

Preparing to remove the wires from the pylon with a view across Noah's Ark Zoo

Specialist system in place to recover the wires