ENERGY chiefs hope a £70,000 cable replacement scheme will stop power cuts hitting old folk in South Tyneside.
Parts of the Calf Close Estate in Jarrow have suffered fluctuation in their electricity supplies for several years.
In some cases, the power cuts have been so severe that pensioners were forced to stay with relatives while their power supplies were reconnected.
But now 500 metres of new cable is being laid along Calf Close Lane in a bid to prevent any further power stoppages.
The work has been welcomed by Fellgate and Hedworth ward councillor Alan Smith.
He said: “There have been some bad power cuts in the Calf Close area in recent years.
“In one case I know about, a lady called Veronica Roberts, of Calf Close Walk, had to go and stay with her daughter, Geraldine Kilgour, last year.
“It seems the cables in that area were either not strong enough or too old for the power supplies. But I must congratulate Northern Powergrid for taking our concerns on board and turning this cable scheme around so quickly.
“It was only a few weeks ago that we brought this to their attention, and they later agreed the scheme.”
A spokesman for Northern Powergrid said: “There have been a number of faults in that area over the last couple of years, including problems this summer.
“We are laying 500 metres of new cable in the Calf Close area and linking it with a sub-station.
“The cost of the work is £70,000, and this will improve the reliability of the power supply.
“Hopefully, there shouldn’t be any disruption to the power supplies as a result of the scheme.”
The work is expected to take about a month.
Northern Powergrid has sent letters out to customers advising them about the scheme.