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    Ashton Old Road, Manchester: update on £750,000 project to expand gas network AND keep the city’s lights on

    12 July 2023

    Media contacts

    Kevin Hegarty

    mail [email protected]

    Telephone0797 069 4897

    Major engineering to install a new gas pipeline under one of Manchester’s busiest roads – while keeping the road open to traffic – is progressing well.

    The team adding an extra mile of pipes, mostly under Ashton Old Road, Openshaw, issued an update on the project today.

    Engineers working for Cadent, which manages the city’s gas network, began work on this in April. It is one of its biggest projects this year.

    Photographs shared by Cadent (shown below) show huge sections of pipe arriving on site recently, ready to install under the road surface.

    Pipe delivery at Ashton Old Road

    Cadent is investing £750,000 to boosts its local network, to meet demand for gas from 13,500 homes, as well as commercial and industrial sites.

    And it will meet demand from a power generation site, which uses gas to drive turbines that create electricity.

    This project is also a direct response to new developments around Manchester City’s nearby Etihad Stadium. These are close to where existing gas pipelines and pressure stations are currently situated. The new pipes reinforce those.

    And the project is future-proofing the gas network – as the big, new polyethylene pipes are capable of safely carrying hydrogen. The introduction of hydrogen is key to local and national targets to reduce carbon emissions to net zero.

    The work began on Cornwall Street and then headed around New Smithfield Market. Motorists using Ashton Old Road will have noticed the team move onto this busy road weeks ago, heading in stages in the city-bound lanes.

    Working closely with lots of different agencies, Cadent has been able to keep traffic flowing both ways and maintain access to businesses.

    Vaclav Franek, who is managing this project for Cadent, said: “This is a big project, and vital for us to ensure gas keep flowing to a wide area of Manchester.

    “More than 80% of local homes use gas for heating, and – in this case – it is also needed to create electricity at various times of the year, day and night.

    “We started this work on site in April, but there had been months of planning before that. We have worked with lots of stakeholders to reduce disruption.

    “So far, everything is going well – we are now moving along Ashton Old Road and making good progress towards the end point, at Clayton Road South.

    “Our digital display signs are showing we are around 50 per cent complete, which keeps us ahead of our original timeline. We will aim to keep everyone updated as we move along and appreciate everyone’s patience to date.

    “Making this happen with minimal impact to a very busy road does not happen without close collaboration between lots of agencies. From the PGL Pipelines team delivering it, Network Plus and Cadent planning it, and the great support of local agencies such as Manchester City Council, TfGM, GTM, and others.”

    Contacting Cadent about this project

    Customers with questions about this work can contact the team by:

    Phone: 0800 090 3071

    Email: [email protected]

    Online: https://cadentgas.com/contactus/contact-form

    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 is 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 Manchester 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 during the 2020s.

    Cadent

    Cadent is the UK’s largest gas distribution network with a 200-year legacy. We are in a unique position to build on strong foundations whilst encouraging the curiosity to think differently and the courage to embrace change. Day to day we continue to operate, maintain and innovate the UK’s largest gas network, transporting gas safely and protecting people in an emergency. Our skilled engineers and specialists remain committed to the communities we serve, working day and night to ensure gas reaches 11 million homes from Cumbria to North London and the Welsh Borders to East Anglia, to keep your energy flowing.

    Future of Gas:

    Here at Cadent we support the Government’s plans to reach Net Zero by 2050. That means we’re backing the introduction of hydrogen as a low carbon alternative to natural gas for the future. We know people love the controllability of gas and, with our network already in place, it makes sense to switch to the lower carbon alternative offered by hydrogen, which we believe can keep homes and businesses warm for generations to come.

    Cadent manages the national gas emergency service free phone line on behalf of the gas industry - 0800 111 999*

    Cadent Gas Ltd is owned by a consortium of global investors.

    *All calls are recorded and may be monitored.

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