St Helens: details of big project to upgrade ageing gas mains

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  • Engineers will be in Jackson Street, Gaskell Street and Sutton Road
  • Around 800 metres of old metallic pipe will be modernised
  • Upgrade future-proofs the network, ready to carry hydrogen
  • Work begins 8 August and is scheduled to take 19 weeks

Major work to ensure St Helens’ underground gas network is ready to keep homes warm through future winters is due to start on Monday (8 August).
Cadent, which manages the local gas network, is calling time on a section of pipe that runs under Jackson Street, Gaskell Street and Sutton Road.

The old metallic main is now showing signs of its age. To protect supply to the local area, it needs to be replaced with a modern, durable plastic pipe.
Nearly 800 metres of new pipe will be installed, tested and then commissioned. That’s the equivalent length of around eight football pitches.
Gas stays ON during the work – there should be no disruption to supply.
Carrying out this work now also future-proofs the network, helping get it ready for the arrival – as soon as this decade – of cleaner gases such as hydrogen.
As the pipes run beneath the roads and footpaths, Cadent has worked with St Helens Council to agree temporary traffic arrangements for the project.
For around a month, starting on 5 September, there will be a short diversion signposted for vehicles that would normally head on to Jackson Street and Gaskell Street from Sutton Road.
However, for the rest of the 19-week project, traffic lights will be used to enable the safe movement of vehicles around the work area, as it progresses along the route in stages.
Metallic gas mains like these are being upgraded across the North West, as part of an £800m investment by Cadent over the next five years.
This year’s programme aims to upgrade 450,000 metres of pipes in the North West. This includes around 2,600 metres in the borough of St Helens.
Craig Horrocks, Head of Cadent’s North West Investment Planning Office, 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 work in St Helens is an essential part of our programme to upgrade the older pipes within the network. More than 90 per cent of homes in the St Helens borough have gas central heating, so this work now ensures we’re ready to safely deliver that gas now, through the colder winter months, and for generations to come.”

Contacting Cadent about this project

Customers with questions about this work can contact the team by:
Phone: 0800 090 3071

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’s related to this work. It may not be and must be checked.

Cadent in the North West

Cadent operates four of the UK’s eight gas distribution networks – North West England, West Midlands, Eastern England and North London.
Its North West network stretches from the Lake District to Crewe and is home to 21,000 miles of distribution pipes (most of them underground) and hundreds of above ground installations. If placed end to end, that amount of pipes would stretch from St Helens to Sydney, Australia, and back again.
Around £800m will be invested in the North West’s gas network over the next five years. This will maintain safe, secure supplies to homes, hospitals, schools, offices and other sites, as well as support the UK journey to net zero carbon emissions.
Backed by Cadent and many partners, the North West region is set to lead the way in a major shift from fossil gases to hydrogen. Producing only heat and water at point of use, hydrogen is key to the UK’s net zero future and is set to be introduced at volume in the North West during the 2020s (see


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.

Media contacts

Kevin Hegarty

07970 694897