Revealed! Loxton cable sealing end emerges from 19 metre scaffolding

Curious M5 drivers given a new view

Work to connect new 400kV underground cables through the Mendip Hills in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) to the new overhead line at Loxton has been completed – giving drivers along the M5 a new view.

National Grid has removed temporary scaffolding at Loxton cable sealing compound near the M5 between junctions 21 and 22. The scaffold was erected to create a sterile environment for specialist engineers to connect the new underground cables to the new line of T-pylons that will help carry low carbon energy to six million homes and businesses.

We are leaving this part of the Area of Outstanding Beauty free of pylons for the first time in 91 years

Those travelling along the M5 would have seen the prominent 19 metre tall scaffolding structure without knowing what was underneath. Drivers can now see see the work completed by our teams.

Jointing of the underground cables will finish in September 2022. The next step for the cabling team is testing the cables from end to end between Loxton and the new substation at Sandford, ahead of their energisation in October 2022.

Robbie Griggs, Lead Project Manager at National Grid had this to say:

“Many people travelling along the M5 may have been wondering what was under the scaffolding at Loxton. We are delighted we can now reveal the completion of our cable sealing end jointing works.”

“We look forward to the full energisation of the underground cables in October.”

“We’re pleased to be putting 8.5 kilometres of the Hinkley Connection route underground through this very special landscape of the Mendip Hills in response to community feedback received during consultation. By doing so, we are leaving this part of the Area of Outstanding Beauty free of pylons for the first time in 91 years!”

National Grid’s contractor, Balfour Beatty, is removing 35 existing pylons between Loxton and Sandford leaving – 28 of the pylons have been removed with the 8 closest to Sandford substation programmed for removal next year. When complete, this part of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty will pylon free for the first time since the 1930s.

Reinstatement of the environment along the cable route is already underway and will be completed in 2024.

Curious M5 drivers given a new view

National Grid has removed temporary scaffolding at Loxton cable sealing compound near the M5 between junctions 21 and 22