§ Mr. Walters
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he is satisfied with the condition of overhead electric cables, bearing in mind the high rate of failure during the recent storms in Wiltshire.
§ Mr. Norman Lamont
Yes: Standards for the construction and maintenance of overhead electricity lines are laid down in the Electricity (Overhead Lines) Regulations 1970, administered by my Department. These standards are based on long experience of the effects of climate, and my Department also monitors the performance of the electricity supply industry in maintaining the lines in proper condition. No practical design of line can be immune from risk in the rare and extreme weather conditions which recently occurred in Wiltshire and some other parts of the country. An analysis of the incidence and causes of the recent damage is being carried out.