The history of Ferrybridge Power Station as further demolition planned for this weekend

As further demolition is planned at Ferrybridge Power Station, we take a look back at the history of the landmark site.

Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 5:41 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 5:44 pm

At its peak, Ferrybridge Power Station employed more than 900 people, but now just a few dozen workers remain on site.

Located on a 389 acre site between Pontefract and Knottingley, Ferrybridge C, as it is officially known, was the third coal-fired power station to be built on the site since 1924.

The Ferrybridge site generated power for more than 50 years and is one of the area's most recognisable landmarks, visible from the nearby M62 and A1(M) motorways as well as from a number of nearby vantage points.

This week's demolition event will centre on the two chimney stacks and main boiler house in the centre of the site. The chimneys and boiler are seen on the right of this aerial snap from 1998.

Its eight concrete cooling towers - each of which stand at an impressive 375ft tall - were visible for miles around.

At peak capacity, Ferrybridge generated enough power to support two million homes across Yorkshire and the Humber.

But rising costs, as well as a rise in alternative fuels, saw the station declared "unsustainable", and owners SSE made the decision to close the site in 2016.

Demolition work began in 2018, culminating with the dramatic demolition of five cooling towers in two blowdown events in 2019.

As further demolition is planned at Ferrybridge Power Station, we take a look back at the history of the landmark site. Ferrybridge C is the third coal-fired power station to have been built on the site in the last 100 years.

But further demolition has now been announced at the site, with more of the recognisable site set to be reduced to dust.

This week's demolition event will centre on the two chimney stacks and main boiler house in the centre of the site.

The big event will take place after 9.30am on Sunday, August 22, with an exact time to be confirmed closer to the day.

How will the blowdown impact me?

As with the previous events, SSE have taken precautions to keep local residents and drivers safe during the blowdown.

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Final preparations for demolition of Ferrybridge Power Station cooling towers

Those affected will have already been contacted by SSE, but it is understood that the exclusion zone, which will be evacuated for safety, will include homes on Kirkhaw Lane, Stranglands Lane and a number of properties within the immediate vicinity of the site.

Marshals will also be in place to enforce a number of road closures ahead of the blowdown.

A portion of Stranglands Lane, between Kirkhaw Lane and the A1(M) motorway underpass, will be temporarily closed from 8am, reopening as soon as practicable after the event.

A rolling road closure will be in place on the A162 and M62 motorways for a period of approximately 15 minutes.

Additionally, a strict no fly zone will be in place, extending to one mile from the site boundary. This means that no unauthorised flights, including drones, will be allowed use the airspace around the site.

No official public viewing area has been allocated for the demolition event, although local residents within the exclusion zone will be able to access facilities in designated areas.

However, Ferrybridge Power Station can be seen for several miles around, and it is expected that people will gather in some areas to watch the event.

The Met Office is currently forecasting cloud and patches of sunshine for Sunday morning, which would ensure visibility from a number of vantage points.

But those who would rather stay at home, a livestream of the event will also be made available on Sunday morning.