Engineers who look after the North West’s 21,000-mile gas pipe network battled atrocious weather conditions last night as they worked through the night to keep everyone safe and on gas.
A leak on a gas main under a motorway (Manchester), a tree falling on to a pipe that crosses a river (Cheshire), sink holes in roads and water in gas pipes were just some of the emergency jobs attended.
Cadent, the company which maintains the North West’s gas network, is working alongside the emergency services, highways and local authorities to respond to the challenge posed by Storm Christoph.
Nearly three million homes, hospitals, schools and other premises in the North West region rely on gas for heat, hot water and cooking. Only 59 lost supply overnight (all due to water in pipes). Work is ongoing right now to fix that.
A gas leak under the M60 – north of Manchester – required the closure of the motorway for several hours while teams worked to safely reduce pressures and keep people on gas. The M60 was reopened early today, with work continuing off the motorway on a permanent solution.
A tree has fallen on to a gas main that crosses a river in Northwich, Cheshire. The pipe is secure, and gas continues to flow safely through it. Teams are working now to sort this.
Ground movement has caused holes in roads across the region, some of which are near to underground gas pipelines. They are all being monitored and not presenting any safety issues at present.
Water entered the gas pipes in several locations, including in Tameside and the Ribble Valley, with 59 properties known to be without supply overnight as a result. This is also now being fixed.
Jenny Moten, Director of Cadent’s North West network, said: “It’s been an extraordinary night and an extraordinary effort by many agencies to look after everyone in the North West.
“Gas is one of those things that the vast majority of us need, but don’t often think about how it gets to our properties. It involves a massive team effort, most of which goes unseen. The determination of my team – and all the agencies we work with – has been fantastic. I’m proud of everyone, working in atrocious weather, through the night, to keep our customers safe.”
The North West’s gas network
Cadent manages the network of more than 21,000 miles of gas pipes and hundreds of above ground stations in North West England. These distribute gas to 2.7 million homes, hospitals, schools, offices and other buildings, as well as to industry and HGV fuel stations. Four in every five homes in the region are heated by gas.