Major engineering is set to begin this month (31 January) to upgrade a pipe that’s been in operation, supplying gas to buildings in Fleetwood, since the 1920s.
Cadent is replacing an underground metallic main with a tough plastic pipe as part of its five-year, £800m modernisation of the North West’s distribution network.
Both gas (hydrogen) and renewable electricity are essential for Lancashire, and the rest of the UK, to achieve targets for net zero carbon emissions within decades.
Modernising the older metallic mains that remain in the North West region is part of the programme to ensure the gas network is ready to carry this hydrogen.
Key information about the Fleetwood project
Cadent needs to upgrade several hundred metres of pipe that runs underneath Lord Street, from the junction with St Peter’s Place to Ash Street. It will begin this work on 31 January 2022, and it should take around eight weeks to complete.
This section of road has two lanes of traffic, as well as the tram tracks. Roads will be kept open for vehicles, in both directions, with traffic lights.
For the eight weeks, Fisherman’s Walk [pictured below] will temporarily become the first and last stop for all trams into and out Fleetwood. The Number 14 bus will accept tram tickets for the suspended distance of route normally taken by the tram. This bus runs every 15 minutes Monday to Friday, and every 20 minutes at weekends.
The project has been planned so that gas will continue to flow throughout – there should be no interruption to supply other than to a small number of properties that take a direct feed from this pipe. They will be off gas for a short period, reconnected on the same day they go off. Advance notice will be given to these customers.
“This is essential work, to replace a section of pipe that is reaching the natural end of its safe operating life, after nearly 100 years,” explained Craig Horrocks, Head of Investment Planning Office (North West), Cadent.
“It involves major engineering, in a busy area, with traffic, trams, residents, shoppers and more all in close proximity to our work area. Our absolute priority is keeping everyone safe, and we are trying hard to have minimal impact on local life.
“We are very grateful for everyone’s patience and understanding while we complete the work.”
Cadent customer teams have visited local businesses, the market, and other services to explain the work.
If you smell gas
If you smell gas during this work, nearby or anywhere, always ring the national gas emergency service immediately, day or night, on 0800 111 999*. Do not delay, or assume it’s related to this work. It may not be and must be checked.
Cadent in the North West
Cadent operates four of the UK’s eight gas distribution networks – North West England, West Midlands, Eastern England and North London.
Its North West network stretches from the Lake District to Crewe and is home to 21,000 miles of distribution pipes (most of them underground) and hundreds of above ground installations. If placed end to end, that amount of pipes would stretch from the North West to Sydney, Australia, and back again.
Around £800m will be invested in the North West’s gas network over the next five years. This will maintain safe, secure supplies to homes, hospitals, schools, offices and other sites, as well as support the UK journey to net zero carbon emissions.
Backed by Cadent and many partners, the North West region is set to lead the way in a major shift from fossil gases to hydrogen. Producing only heat and water at point of use, hydrogen is key to the UK’s net zero future and is set to be introduced at volume in the North West this decade