SPECIAL arrangements are being put in place to enable lifeboat crews to reach their Poppit Sands base in the event of an emergency when Pilot Street in St Dogmaels is closed for up to three weeks.

The road is being closed from March 4 because of utility cabling works being carried out by Western Power and drivers and local residents are being warned to expect delays.

Western Power Distribution (WPD), Pembrokeshire County Council and the local community council have been in discussions for several months regarding the proposed removal of three wooden poles

Pilot Street will be closed to all vehicular traffic other than exempted vehicles from its junction with the access to Parc Noi north to its junction with Riverhill Cottages.

The alternative route for traffic will be via High Street, Tan-y-Rhiw, C3144 towards Waunwhiod, C3139, C3029 and C3109 roads leading towards Poppit Sands, Finch Street (B4546) and Pilot Street. Pedestrian access will be maintained for the duration of the closure.

That diversion would cost valuable time for lifeboat crews so alternative measures have been drawn up.

A WPD spokesman said: "In addition to liaising with the local authority we have also held discussions with the lifeboat station, local residents and other interested parties, and we will put a number of measures in place to make sure we cause as little disruption as possible to road users and residents.

"While the road will be closed during the daytime, it will be open at night. But if, during the daytime, the lifeboat is called out or emergency vehicles need to use the road, we will temporarily backfill any excavations with building gravel to enable vehicles to pass. This can be done within a matter of minutes.

"We will also provide the lifeboat station with a pager, so that they can contact us on site to inform us if they need to use the road. The lifeboat station is fully aware of all the measures and very supportive of them. We will also be providing residents with alternative car parking arrangements.

"Our work is scheduled to begin to remove the poles on March 4, when our contractors will begin road excavations, and work is likely to take approximately three weeks. The poles are being removed because they have come to the end of their working life.

"Rather than replace them, we will be placing the electricity supply serving the area underground. This will further secure supplies to the area in the future."