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RESPONSE TO EVIDENCE OF MR.K.E.MILLER
BY PROFESSOR G SCOTT ON BEHALF OF REVOLT (REV 102 u )
In his evidence (Transcript Day 37, page 22,C) Mr. Miller said that he did not believe that it would be possible to build a concrete duct to convey 400kV cables along trunk routes. Paradoxically, he then went on to admit that did not know anything about the design of the proposed ducts, thus clearly indicating that he had not studied the evidence, relating to water cooled ducting (REV 102) and in particular the Appendices which show both a cross-sectional drawing of the duct (REV, 102 L3) and a photograph of a typical duct in place along a canal towpath (REV 102 LA). The photograph shows that, contrary to Mr. Millers belief, the duct does not sit in a trench and that it can follow the contours of the surface. They can also be tunnelled under obstructions such as access roads. Consequently, the objections he raises are without foundation in fact.
As illustrated in the photograph, there is no a priori reason why concrete ducting of the required rating could not be used equally successfully on the outer perimeter of a trunk road (either inside or just outside the highway boundary) with no impediment to road traffic or danger to personnel during installation and maintenance. Access would be achieved from a service road outside the boundary.
It is neither constructive nor responsible of the Department of Transport to reject a proposal which it does not understand and which has not been formally submitted by National Grid Company;
In expressing agreement with the Department of Transport's position (Transcript Day 37, page 19, D), National Grid Company is guilty of the same ill-considered judgement. In National Grid Company 103A, Appendix D, National Grid Company lists the reasons why overhead lines are preferred to conventional buried underground cables taken across farmland. The following summarizes the advantages of trunk route concrete ducted cables (TRCDC) compared with conventional underground cables (CUC) and overhead lines (OL) and should be read in conjunction with National Grid Company 103A, Appendix D.
1. Trunk Route Concrete Ducted Cables are easier to install and operate than conventional underground cables.
2. Because they are not subjected to wind and weather, Trunk Route Concrete Ducted Cables are much more reliable, less prone to failure than overhead lines and less prone to damage by vehicles than conventional underground cables.
3. Visual intrusion is completely eliminated to the benefit of both passing traffic and local residences by the use of .Trunk Route Concrete Ducted Cables.
4. Because there are very few houses along the boundaries of trunk routes and because electromagnetic radiation is much reduced compared to overhead lines (REV 102), the health hazards associated with EMF are essentially eliminated by Trunk Route Concrete Ducted Cables.
5. Faults in Trunk Route Concrete Ducted Cables are quickly identified and are more economical to repair than those in conventional underground cables and their failure is less hazardous to the public than in the case of overhead lines.
6. Because of their accessibility, Trunk Route Concrete Ducted Cables can be readily repaired without interference with farm land, which is a major disadvantage of both overhead lines and conventional underground cables.
7. Trunk Route Concrete Ducted Cables reduces land take and physical disturbance compared to both conventional underground cables and overhead lines.
8. The area utilised for Trunk Route Concrete Ducted Cables is only a fraction of that used for conventional underground cables and is comparable to that used for overhead lines.
9. Trunk Route Concrete Ducted Cables can be made much more secure by appropriate fencing than either conventional underground cables or overhead lines and presents no obstruction to farming development.
10. Excavation of land for Trunk Route Concrete Ducted Cables installation, maintenance and repair is much less disruptive to land than either conventional underground cables or overhead lines.
11. Protection of Trunk Route Concrete Ducted Cables from damage by trees and hedgerows is much more controllable than for conventional underground cables.
12. Trunk Route Concrete Ducted Cables will cause no damage to sites of archaeological or nature conservation interest.
13. Because of their concrete protection, Trunk Route Concrete Ducted Cables will not be affected by underground conditions.
14. Visual intrusion of ancillary equipment will be much less obtrusive on a trunk route verge than in the middle of beautiful countryside.
15. It would be very much easier to uprate Trunk Route Concrete Ducted Cables than conventional underground cables due to their accessibility.
It is concluded that, although it has not been established at the Inquiry that the new lines are needed, if such a conclusion was reached, then National Grid Company should be asked to collaborate with Department Of Transport in the preparation of a feasibility study on Trunk Route Concrete Ducted Cables or a combination of Trunk Route Concrete Ducted Cables and trunk route overhead lines (TROL). A judicious combination of Trunk Route Concrete Ducted Cables and TROL would satisfy most of the objections that have been put forward against overhead lines at the Inquiry. Such a considered proposal should form part of the report to the Secretary of State.
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