From the Jazz Age to the digital age – Wednesbury’s centenarian gas pipe gets a 21st century facelift

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■    100-year-old gas pipe in Wednesbury’s Ridding Lane to be upgraded

■    Work will keep local homes warm and safe until 22nd Century

■    Road closures in Ridding Lane and Market Place

Louis Armstrong was delighting jazz fans, ‘Flappers’ were dancing the Charleston ‘til dawn and Britain experienced its first General Strike when a new gas pipe was laid in Wednesbury’s Ridding Lane. But 100 years later the iron main is showing its age and is set for a major upgrade.

In a three-month renewal project, starting on Monday 3 February, Cadent, which owns and operates the gas pipes in the street, will be replacing the century-old cast iron main with a tough new plastic pipe. The new pipe will ensure local people can continue to warm their homes and traders can fuel their businesses into the 22nd century.

To keep staff, road-users and residents safe while the work is underway, Ridding Lane will be closed to through traffic from 3 February to 12 April. Access will be maintained to homes and businesses will be open as usual.

Once the Ridding Lane work is finished, engineers will start work in Market Place. From 13 April to 10 May, a short section of Market Place will be closed between Ridding Lane, Spring Head and Lower High Street.

Kate Jones, Director of Cadent’s West Midlands gas network, said: “This is part of a £50 million investment in the West Midlands gas network this year and will mean local people can continue to safely warm their homes and fuel their businesses into the next century.

“Wednesbury has had gas for nearly 200 years and more than 85% of homes rely on gas central heating to keep warm. This pipe has served the town for 100 years but now it is showing its age and needs to be replaced.

“We appreciate that road works can be disruptive but it is really important that this essential project is carried out safely. We will do our best to complete it as soon as possible and minimise inconvenience to residents and motorists.”

If anyone has any enquiries about this work they should contact Cadent’s customer services team on 0161 703 1110. Find out more about how Cadent replaces gas mains and how that affects residents and businesses


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.

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Media contacts

Rebecca Wright

07899 983792