A TORRINGTON couple fear a new electricity pole erected beside their front door could cause danger to themselves, their two young children and to passers-by. But Western Power Distribution, which installed the pole as part of major improvement works to To

A TORRINGTON couple fear a new electricity pole erected beside their front door could cause danger to themselves, their two young children and to passers-by.

But Western Power Distribution, which installed the pole as part of major improvement works to Torrington's electricity system, says there is nowhere else it can go.

A number of old wooden electricity poles which were sited on the outside edge of the pavement alongside the roadway are being replaced by large new metal ones set back against the houses.

The others have fallen between the houses, say Mr and Mrs Jackson. But the one by them is so close that it is obscuring the view from their front door, which opens directly on to the public pavement raised above a busy road.

"I have almost been hit by a bicycle passing by outside and I have heard of a neighbour who has been hit," said Mrs Jackson.

"Now with this post obscuring the view there is even more danger. The front of our house is our only exit and it is no good saying to the kids not to go out there. My fear is that they will run out into the path of a bicycle and be hit or someone will be knocked into the road.

"The pole also makes it more difficult for people who may be pushing prams along the pavement. We are at one of the narrowest parts of the pavement and on a bend. Both schools are at this end of the town and the children all walk this way."

Mr Jackson said: "We have complained, but have basically been told there is nothing that can be done about it."

The couple are also concerned that a light at the top of the pole will shine directly into their bathroom and a neighbour's bedroom, that the pole could be a security hazard and that it will devalue their house.

A spokesperson for Western Power told the Gazette that improvements were being made in New Street and Calf Street in Torrington.

Unfortunately, because of the layout of Calf Street, with different levels of roadway and pavement and with the presence of other services such as telephones etc, this was the only place they could put this pole.

"We have moved the poles away from the edge of the pavement for safety reasons, because they were getting hit by traffic, with wing mirrors broken and glass flying," they said. "The new poles are still on the public highway. We have all the planning permission needed. It is unfortunate that these houses do not have a frontage.

"We have looked again to see if there is any way we can reposition it, but there is nothing more we can do. The poles need to be where they are to services all the different houses. This is unfortunate for Mr and Mrs Jackson, but it is the only option in what is a difficult area.