SSE withdraws application to close road for over two months 

SSE has withdrawn their application to close the Kergord to Sandwater road for over two months after being accused of creating “absolute mayhem”.

The energy company was set to close the road from 14th May to 18th July to lay an underground cable.

However, following a significant backlash this week, SSE announced it was withdrawing the application.

“We want to minimise the impact of our Kergord-Gremista connection project as much as possible.

“Following feedback from the local community and stakeholders, we have reviewed our programme with our contractor and withdrawn our application to close a section of the B9075 which would have been required for safety,” the statement read.

SSE also confirmed that these works will be revisited at a later date with mitigations in place to reduce the impact on commuters.

“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.”

In the meantime, the team will “move to the next section of underground cabling work” which takes place at the Tingwall straight, over a one kilometre stretch.

The company added that there will be “limited impact to road users” during these works with “periods of temporary traffic lights in place for safety”.

SSE vowed to 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 it added would “ultimately connect Shetland to the national electricity grid for the first time and contribute to the island’s future energy security”.

The council’s environment and transport chairwoman Moraig Lyall celebrated the news.

“I welcome the changes that have been announced to the scheduling of the cabling works at Sandwater,” she said.

“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.

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


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