Keeping up the Cadence: How Cadent helped ensure annual cycling festival RideLondon kept on rolling through the capital’s streets

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  • Rapid reaction team assembled to deal with any gas related emergencies during RideLondon
  • Extensive preparations saw Cadent liaise with event organisers and local authorities to develop coordinated contingency plans for the weekend
  • Planning its essential work to fit in around major public events and people’s daily lives is part of Cadent’s DNA
Britain’s largest gas distribution company Cadent helped maintain the cadence of the world’s greatest festival of cycling.
Over the weekend thousands descended upon the capital for Prudential RideLondon.
Developed by the Mayor of London, Transport for London (TfL), Surrey County Council and promotional company London & Partners, the event has been a fixture in the capital since 2013. A legacy of the London 2012 Olympics, the event is the flagship of the Mayor and TfL’s cycling programme. The weekend consists of cycling events including a free family ride in central London along with the professional London-Surrey Classic and Classique races which attract top professional cyclists.
To help ensure the event went as smoothly as possible Cadent began preparing well in advance. Cadent gas pipes near RideLondon routes and venues were checked in advance of the weekend and planned gas mains replacement work was carefully scheduled around the event.
Meanwhile Cadent prepared contingency plans to ensure any unexpected gas emergencies were dealt with as soon as possible.  A rapid reaction team was on standby to spring into action and deal with any gas emergencies on the big day.
Resources on hand to deal with any gas related emergencies included one of Cadent’s rapid repair ‘keyhole’ trucks.
Utilising ‘keyhole for roads’ technology the trucks are able to carry out repairs much faster than if done using traditional techniques. The keyhole technology works by drilling a small hole in the road and then removing a single 'core' in as little as half an hour before sucking out the soil. Repairs are then carried out using special long handled tools which are able to reach down to the gas mains to complete repairs. The soil is then returned and compacted before the 'core' is put back using a special sealant. Once this is complete the road is ready to reopen in around one hour - much faster than when using conventional methods of digging and reinstatement. The technology isn’t suitable for all repair jobs but Cadent utilises it where it can.
Matthew Bunce, Cadent Performance and Assurance London, was involved in preparations for RideLondon.
He said: “Prior to RideLondon we made thorough assessments to our local gas network to make sure it was sound and functioning correctly.”
 “We liaised with RideLondon organisers and local authorities in London to ensure any planned work to our network was scheduled around the event.
He added: “We also carefully developed contingency plans and had resources available to deal with any suspected gas escapes as soon as possible.”
Though RideLondon was a major event in many ways it was business as usual for Cadent, as Mr Bunce explained: “Planning our work around major events and preparing contingency plans is very much part of Cadent’s DNA.
“Our North London network supplies a city which hosts major events such as the Lord Mayor’s Show, London Marathon, FA Cup Finals, Royal Weddings and of course RideLondon all of which have to be factored into our planning.”
He added: “However planning for these major events is just one part of our work and Cadent is committed to ensuring our network keeps on delivering safe and reliable gas to all those who we serve while ensuring our work has as little impact on people’s lives.”
The Cadent North London network connects over two million homes, businesses and community facilities to safe and reliable gas supplies across North London and parts of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex and Surrey, via a network of over 20,000km of pipes.
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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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