A £1million boost to Leigh’s gas network, making sure thousands of homes stay warm in the coldest of winters, enters a new phase next week (starting 1 September).
Cadent, which manages the North West’s gas network, is adding 3.2km of new mains to meet demand in extreme weather conditions like ‘Beast from the East’ and to get everything ready for the likely introduction of greener gas such as hydrogen in the near future.
Nearly 90% of homes in Leigh use gas for central heating. This new pipe, made of toughened plastic and 25cm in diameter, will help Cadent distribute gas to 4,500 properties.
Cadent appointed Leigh-based specialists PGL Pipelines to install its new main under the road surface from Kirkhall Lane, under Atherleigh Way and along Lovers Lane.
Co-ordinating with Wigan Council on timing and to minimise disruption, the team was tasked with completing a 1.7km stretch along busy Atherleigh Way in just six weeks.
That stage is now almost finished, on time, with the team ready to remove the southbound-lane closure – i.e. heading towards the East Lancashire Road – later today (28 August).
Next week, from 1 September, the team will start work on an 80-metre turn from Atherleigh Way onto Lovers Lane. Traffic lights will manage the flow of vehicles around this work area*.
The project then continues on Lovers Lane, where the engineers will install the remainder of the new gas main through September and into October.
Residents in the local area have received updates from the team, explaining that access will be maintained to properties along the route. Gas supplies stay on throughout.
Talila Marshall, Net Zero Planner at Cadent, and leading this project in Leigh, said: “This is a big project, in total around £1m of investment.
“I’m really pleased we’ve reached this critical point, on time, and are able to lift the lane closure on Atherleigh Way.
“Extreme winters like the recent ‘Beast from the East’ place huge demands on the gas network and this reinforcement puts us in a good place to make sure gas reaches every home and building that needs it for warmth.
“It will also ensure our network can safely carry greener gases in the future, such as hydrogen, which will have a big role in helping the UK on its journey to net zero carbon emissions.”
Cadent in the North West
Cadent manages the 21,000 miles of gas mains that run under North West England. These carry gas safely to 2.7 million properties in the region. If placed end to end, that amount of pipes would run from Leigh to Sydney, Australia, and back again.
Working from 14 depots, from Kendal to Crewe, Cadent also provides the North West’s 24/7, 365-day gas emergency service.
*There are already traffic lights at this junction. These will be replaced, temporarily, with a new set of lights working to a different sequence.