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Council / B9075 to stay open after SSEN withdraws road closure application

SSEN Transmission has withdrawn its application to close the B9075 Sandwater to Kergord road for two months following concern raised by the local community.

No consultation had taken place prior to Shetland Islands Council confirming on Tuesday that a section of road near Sandwater would be closed from 14 May to allow SSEN to lay an underground cable.

Whiteness, Weisdale and Tingwall Community Council as well as local councillor Moraig Lyall all called for the decision to be reviewed, as it would inconvenience the local community for an extended period of time.

Drivers were advised that a diversion would be in place through Stromfirth.

On Wednesday, SSEN Transmission said that following feedback from the local community it had readjusted its programme of works to connect the Kergord substation with the Gremista Grid Supply Point (GSP).

A spokesperson for the company said: “We’ll now look to reprogramme this section at a later date with our contractor, including reviewing our traffic management plan to limit our impact on road users as much as we can while ensuring we deliver this section of underground cable safely.

“Instead, our teams will move to the next section of underground cabling work which takes place off road near the Tingwall straight, over a one kilometre stretch. There will be limited impact to road users, with periods of temporary traffic lights in place for safety.

Councillor Moraig Lyall welcomed the decision. Photo: Shetland News

“We will make sure to keep the local community and all stakeholders informed of our project as works progress, and ensure the community is informed about our progress on this essential phase of the Kergord to Gremista project, which will ultimately connect Shetland to the national electricity grid for the first time and contribute to the island’s future energy security.”

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Lyall said she welcomed the changes announced by the company.

“The inconvenience and disruption that would have been caused by the closure of that piece of road at a busy time of year and the impact on other routes would have been substantial,” she said.

“Waiting until the new road is tarred and available to use as a bypass makes obvious sense.”

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