Work starts on removing 22 electricity pylons at Winterborne Abbas

Work starts on removing 22 electricity pylons at Winterborne Abbas

Published by Maria Greenwood at 8:40am 4th May 2020.

Work on removing electricity pylons will mean the closure of Blagdon Hill Road in Martinstown from today. (4th May) 

The road will be shut in both directions for up to six weeks, with signed diversions.

The closure will also affect the national cycle route 2 which uses part of the road.

Sam Lamburne, project manager, says the closure is needed to lay ducting for the new underground electricity cables as part of the Dorset VIP project to replace 9km of overhead power lines.  

It will also allow us to build a temporary construction road which will keep project vehicles using local roads to a minimum during the building work.

A diversion via Coombe Road will be put in place during the closure.

Pylons near Martinstown 2

Because of the current lockdown Hardy's Monument is currently closed but Mr Lamburne says that should restrictions be lifted during the six weeks access to the hilltop attraction not be restricted by National Grid or the contractors, Morgan Sindall Infrastructure.

He said:

"While the closure of Blagdon Hill Road has been agreed with Dorset Council for up to six weeks, National Grid and our partners will do all we can to ensure the road reopens as early as practically possible."

Emergency services have been informed of the closure and have been made aware of the diversion.  

Local schools and school buses are also being told of the closure and the alternative route.

Pylons Dorset

Project organisers say they have carried out a comprehensive review of the programme of work in light of national restrictions and have decided that work to remove the pylons and install an underground power cable can continue.

"At a time when everyone is being asked to stay at home wherever possible, we understand it can be unnerving to see others going about their daily work.  

"Our people who need to continue working on site and in the community are doing so under stringent health and safety measures to protect not just themselves but also the communities in which they operate, and these measures will be regularly reviewed.

"We want to reassure residents and businesses that we are doing all we can to minimise disruption. 

"Throughout the closure, access to homes and businesses along the road will be maintained."

Any questions about the planned temporary closure can be raised with the VIP project team by calling 0330 134 0051 or sending an email to

  • The National Grid works will result in the removal of 22 pylons between Winterbourne Abbas and Friar Waddon at a total cost of £116 million,  improving the landscape in the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
  • It started last year and is expected to take 3 years to complete.

By Trevor Bevins, Local Democracy Reporter