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Gas and electricity infrastructure well protected, report finds

A record 62% of all UK excavation work is now preceded by a thorough search for underground assets, such as pipes and cables, according to a report by LSBUD (Linesearch BeforeUdig).

The report entitled ‘Digging up Britain 2019', shows that there were 2,585,862 searches made through LSBUD's online portal last year - a 14% increase on the previous year. As a result, almost a quarter of a million more potential asset strikes to the UK's energy infrastructure were averted.

Part of this increase is because more utility owners are now members. Of the UK's 1.5 million kilometres of underground utility infrastructure, about 800,000 kilometres is currently covered by LSBUD's collaborative portal, a 23% increase on last year. This includes more than 60% of the UK's electricity and gas networks, a 20% increase on the previous year. This is partly due to Wales & West Utilities registering its assets at the end of 2018. With SSE set to add their assets in 2019, over 60% of the UK's electricity and gas distribution networks are now members.