Bolton: details of new phase of multi-million-pound investment in gas mains

in your area

  • Gas network Cadent moves in to upgrade 100+ year old pipe under Blackburn Road
  • Part of multi-million-pound investment to replace and future-proof its older assets
  • Nearly 85% of homes in Bolton are kept warm in winter by gas central heating
A multi-million-pound upgrade of a gas main that is crucial to keeping thousands of Bolton homes warm has been scheduled to start this month.
Cadent, which manages the North West’s gas mains, needs to replace the main under Blackburn Road as it is old and at the end of its life, after more than 100 years of operation.
This is a huge challenge – to carry out a big, essential engineering project in the middle of a densely populated area, on a heavily used road, while ensuring everyone is safe at all times.
After months of planning and liaison locally, details of the work can now be revealed.
Once work is completed on a similar-age pipe on the same local network, in nearby Halliwell Road, the team will move onto the Blackburn Road scheme.
Work is currently expected to start on 15th April.
“This scheme is part of our £77.5m investment every year to future-proof the North West’s gas mains,” said Craig Horrocks, who heads up Cadent’s gas mains replacement in the region.
“This is one of many schemes across the North West – replacing the current, often very old, metallic gas mains with tough, durable plastic pipes that will safely distribute gas into the next century.
“Our gas mains – like here in Blackburn Road – are usually directly under the road surface, so causing disruption is just unavoidable. We’ve worked with the local authority, Bolton Council, to plan this work in phases, making sure we keep one lane of Blackburn Road open always.
“We appreciate this not ideal, but hope people understand this is vital work to ensure a continued safe and reliable supply of gas – and our priority is to get the work done safely.”
The scheme will take place in five phases (these dates may change):
  • Phase One: Canning Street to Astley Street. Starts 15th April, for three weeks.
  • Phase Two: Astley Street to the Bridge. Starts 6th May, for seven weeks.
  • Phase Three: Work in Bridge area. Starts 24th June, for four weeks
  • Phase Four: Bridge to side of Asda petrol station. Starts 24th July, for four weeks.
  • Phase Five: Near junction Halliwell Road to junction Canning Street. Starts 2nd September, for seven weeks.
Cadent will ensure traffic lights are manned at peak times, so they can be manually controlled to optimise traffic flow. Warning signs will be put out two weeks prior to the start of each phase and the team will work seven days a week throughout the five phases.
There will be some localised road closures – where roads join Blackburn Road – and diversions will be signposted.
In some cases, supplies to individual properties will need to be isolated (switched off temporarily). Notice will be given, and supplies will be restored the same day.
The importance of gas to Bolton:
According to 2011 census data, nearly 85 per cent of Bolton’s 116,371 homes use gas for central heating. Cadent, as the guardian of local gas mains, has responsibility for ensuring the gas you buy from a supplier is distributed to your home via a network of more than 80,000 miles of mostly underground pipes. This includes 22,000 miles of pipes in North West England. Cadent is part-way through a huge project to upgrade these mains, like here in Blackburn Road.
More information will be sent to local homes directly affected by these works.
The customer team for this project can be reached on 0161 703 1000.
This website – – has more details on Cadent’s gas mains replacement programme.


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.

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