Essential work to upgrade over 500 metres of gas pipe in Sharnbrook, Bedford, is starting today (27 July).
Cadent, which manages the local gas network, is replacing a section of 50-year-old metallic pipe along High Street.
It’s part of a wider investment by Cadent in the East of England’s gas network over the next five years and helps to get the network ready for a move away from fossil gasses to hydrogen, which is essential for a ‘net zero’ future.
Phase 1 of the work will begin along High Street, working from Home Close towards Stileman Way, for approximately 10 weeks. For the safety of teams working on site and the general public, temporary traffic lights will be in place at the junction of High Street and Home Close from 27 July, before moving onto phased road closures on High Street.
Works outside the school to Church Lane are set to be completed before 2 September, when a smaller diversion will be in place to help keep the traffic flowing for the new school term.
Phase 2 will follow at a later date and will see pipes replaced between The Old Mill and Sharnbrook Court. Temporary traffic lights will also be in place to help keep everyone safe.
Ageing gas service pipes supplying individual properties will also need to be replaced as part of the upgrade. Engineers will need to switch off the gas supply to affected properties for approximately 12 hours to carry out the work. Cadent will be writing to those properties involved nearer the time.
People are reminded that they should ask to see official identification – which all Cadent employees and contractors will carry – before allowing engineers access to their property to carry out work.
Pete Day, Lead Delivery Engineer for Cadent in the East of England, said: “We’re upgrading ageing metallic gas mains so our networks are fit for the future, ready to keep energy flowing in Sharnbrook for heating and cooking for decades to come.
“The temporary traffic arrangements are necessary to ensure the safety of our teams working on site, as well as to help pedestrians and road users navigate the work area safely.
“We’ve planned our essential work in consultation with the local highways authority to minimise disruption as much as possible but please budget extra time for your journeys, particularly at peak times.”
Advance notice signs are in place and Cadent’s customer teams are sending out information to properties in the immediate area around the works.
From 2 August, throughout the work, representatives from Cadent will also be on hand to answer questions at a regular drop-in every Tuesday (10am-12pm) and Thursday (2pm-4pm) at the site office on the corner of Home Close and High Street, Sharnbrook, MK44 1PQ.
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.