Repair work leaves residents struggling to get in and out of their home
PUBLISHED: 15:45 15 February 2013 | UPDATED: 15:45 15 February 2013
Residents were left struggling to get in and out of their homes after electrical contractors left a huge hole outside their block of flats.
Residents of Clapton Terrace, Clapton Terrace spent seven days trying to squeeze in and out of front door railings and temporary fences after UK Power Networks dug a hole to install a new cable joint to supply electricity to the property last Friday.
Terry Smith, 39, of T Smith Electrical contracting, who was asked by the landlord to organise UK Power Networks to carry out the job after the council requested it, was incredulous.
He said: “I can’t believe they didn’t repair the hole. It’s been an incredible inconvenience for tenants. They have to scoot round the side of the steps. One resident has had to lift her pram over the barricade!
“UK Power Networks put fencing around the hole so people don’t fall down it. There could have been an accident. Fortunately there has not been.”
Mr Smith, of Stratford, added: “We were asked by them to do a lot of things to comply with health and safety. We had to give them three parking spaces for two days so they didn’t have to carry tools a long distance. There was free parking on the street but they wanted us to block the road for them.
“We were told they were going to have a compressor, a power pack. They turned up with just a spade and a wheelbarrow!
“We also had to provide them with a fireproof cupboard. Power Networks state they are health and safety first and then they leave us a big gaping hole outside! They make everyone else comply with health and safety rules but they don’t comply with it themselves.”
“The irony is that UK Power Networks are a monopoly company and you can’t go to anyone else. They are the only people who have the licence to electrical infrastructure.
“They’ve got six days to reinstate a hole like this. Would you be happy if you had a hole outside your property?”
A spokesman from UK Power Networks said: “UK Power Networks would like to sincerely apologise to some residents for the inconvenience they were caused by some of our recent works.
“Our engineers were on site for several days this week, making an alteration to the cables servicing the property. They barriered off the excavation for safety reasons. Regrettably, this caused problems with access to and from the property.
“The work was completed at 2pm yesterday and the barriers cleared away within an hour, returning the access and pavement to normal.”
“We are sorry for the problems caused to residents. There will be an investigation into the issues to ensure that this sort of incident does not happen again.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Hackney Gazette. Click the link in the orange box above for details.