- Underground gas main installed just after Second World War is being completely replaced
- Engineers keep gas flowing; no-one will lose supply while work is carried out
- Coronavirus: essential, safely-critical work continues for region’s energy networks
An old underground gas main in Manchester that’s become prone to leaks in recent years as it reaches the end of its operational life is in the process of being completely replaced.
The steel pipe under Stockport Road, Timperley, carries gas to heat at least six blocks of flats and several housing estates. It was originally installed soon after the Second World War.
But in recent years, joints have started to fail, with regular visits required by teams from gas network Cadent to fix them, causing disruption to traffic flow on this busy road.
Now, after the latest small leak emerged, the company has decided to replace a 200-metre section. The teams will keep gas flowing – no-one will lose supply – due to the method they’re using.
The work is expected to be completed within weeks.
With teams working in the road, traffic is restricted in one direction, from Thorley Lane to the roundabout at Brooklands Road / Altrincham Road. Diversions are in place and signposted.
Mark Berry, Head of Customer Operations, Cadent, said: “We were fixing joints on this main too often and the best long-term solution is just to replace a large section of it, 200 metres.
“We’re using a technique – in simple terms, inserting the new pipe into the old one – that means there’s no interruption to gas supplies. There will be no need for us to enter anyone’s home.
“Before we started work in Timperley, we delivered letters to hundreds of properties in the local area, explaining that we’ll be able to keep gas on throughout.
“Alongside other utility companies, we are continuing essential, safely-critical work throughout the coronavirus crisis
. We’re here day and night to respond to emergencies, and we’ll carry out repair work like this to keep gas flowing to local properties, for heating, hot water and cooking.
“Our engineers here in Timperley, and at other sites where we are carrying out essential maintenance and repairs on our network at the moment, are taking extra safety precautions related to coronavirus, including being mindful of social distancing, for example.”
Cadent manages a network of more than 21,000 miles of underground mains in North West England, carrying gas to homes, hospitals, schools and other buildings that must stay open during coronavirus restrictions. Placed end to end, that amount of pipes would run from Manchester to Sydney, Australia, and back again.
More than 83% of local homes use gas for central heating.
Cadent also provides the gas emergency service, with teams ready 24/7 to respond to reports of smells of gas.