1 incidents
    Loss of gas – Ingham 10 Jul 2024 12: 30 PM

    Helsby: upgrading ageing gas pipes under A56 Chester Road

    28 July 2023

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    • Modernising gas pipes that have been in operation for 80+ years
    • Keeping local homes warm and preparing for greener energy
    • Work begins Monday 31st July near Helsby High School

    Major works starts Monday (31st July) to replace a large section of gas pipeline under Chester Road, Helsby, which is essential to keeping homes in the area warm.

    Cadent, which manages the local gas network, is calling time on a section of its pipeline that runs directly under the A56, between Helsby High School and the junction with Primrose Lane – which is a distance of some 3,200 metres.

    The work will be completed in phases and the road will stay open, with traffic lights controlling the flow of vehicles around the specific area being worked in.

    Old metallic gas mains like these are being upgraded as part of an £800m investment by Cadent in its North West network over five years.

    As well as keeping homes warm today – more than 80 per cent of local homes have gas central heating – this programme is helping to get the network ready for a move away from fossil gases to hydrogen, which is essential for a ‘net zero’ future.

    Records indicate that some sections of this pipeline were installed in the early 1940s. They are now showing signs of its age – with repairs and maintenance, and associated traffic disruption, increasing in frequency in recent years.

    Mark Syers, Head of Investment Planning Office (North West), Cadent, said: “Our job is to keep gas flowing to heat homes, schools, offices and many other buildings in the local area, as well as future-proof the network ready for hydrogen.

    “This part of the network has operated for more than 80 years. We’ve become too frequent a visitor in recent years, with our teams carrying out essential repairs.

    “This upgrade will bring an end to that, ensuring everyone gets a safe, reliable supply well into the future.

    “We appreciate this means another period of disruption and will maintain a work area that ensures the road can stay open, albeit with traffic lights.”

    As well as the larger diameter main in the road, the engineers will also replace the individual ‘service’ pipes that carry gas into some properties. Work is also taking place in a number of streets that lead off Chester Road.

    The start point, near Helsby High School, has been deliberately scheduled for the summer holidays, to minimise disruption here.

    Gas stays ON

    The Cadent teams will ensure gas stays ON throughout the project. This is apart from one day, as each property’s supply is connected into the new main. Advance notice will be given, and gas will be restored the same day it goes off.

    When does it start – and how long will it take?

    Teams will move in to start the project on 31st JulyThe programme of work is likely to continue through to the end of the year.

    Inserting most of the new pipe into the old pipe = reduced disruption

    For around 80 per cent of the project, the engineers will use a technique of inserting the new plastic main into the old metallic main. This reduces the number of excavations needed and therefore reduces the timeline of the project.

    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’s ‘North West’ network covers a wide area that includes Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Cumbria and parts of Derbyshire.

    Beneath this region – under roads, footpaths and fields – are more than 34,000km of gas distribution pipes. These carry gas to 2.7 million homes, hospitals, schools, offices and other sites – for heat, hot water, cooking and industrial uses. If placed end to end, they’d reach Sydney, Australia, and come back again.

    Cadent manages this extensive network, as well as gas networks for Eastern England, West Midlands and North London. It is responsible for ensuring the network is operating safely and reliably, 24/7, 365 days a year.

    Cadent will invest more than £3.4bn over the next five years (including more than £800m in the North West area) to maintain this network and get it ready for the arrival soon of greener, low-carbon gases, such as hydrogen.


    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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