- Essential gas main in the shadow of Everton FC's ground is more than 130 years old
- New pipe and investment by Cadent ensures safety and reliability of supply for generations
- Work on Walton Road co-ordinated with local council and timed for minimal disruption
A major project to upgrade an underground gas pipe close to the famous Goodison Park football ground is revealing a rarely-seen but essential cog of local life.
Records show the metal main under Walton Road has delivered gas locally since at least 1885. This makes it older than the home – just 200 metres away – of Everton FC, which proudly boasts
being the oldest football stadium in England.
Back then, the installation of a huge gas pipe like this would have revolutionised the way homes were lit and heated, and brought reliable power for local industry.
Now the pipe is showing natural signs of its age. Gas network Cadent has assessed that it’s time for the pipe to be replaced with a tough, durable plastic pipe that will need much less repair and maintenance during a minimum 80-year lifespan.
Factfile - look back at 1880s:
- Queen Victoria was on the throne
- Liverpool-born William Ewart Gladstone was Prime Minister during this decade
- Liverpool became a city (in 1880)
- ‘Jack the Ripper’ brought terror to the streets of London
- Coca-cola was invented
- Construction work started on the Panama Canal
- The Statue of Liberty was built as a gateway to New York
- Everton FC was only a few years old, having been formed in 1878 (originally as St Domingo FC). Goodison Park was built in 1892.
The job is part of a UK-wide programme
, being delivered by gas distribution networks and overseen by the Health and Safety Executive and energy industry regulator Ofgem, to upgrade old metal mains pipes. Last year, Cadent invested £77.5m upgrading around 500km of gas pipes in the North West region alone.
Engineers arrived on site last week to begin a 12-week project to replace a 245-metre stretch of pipe in Walton Road (A59).
With agreement of the highways team at Liverpool City Council
, they’re concentrating on a busy junction at Barlow Lane
, so that work will be completed here before the new football season gets under way. They’ve now exposed part of the pipe (pictured below) which was installed more than 130 years ago.
There is no access from or to Barlow Lane from Walton Road for the time being. A signed diversion is in place. Traffic is continuing to flow in both directions along four-lane Walton Road, as the team is only working in one lane of the carriageway. They will replace the main in stages, ending at Bradewell Street
A technique is being used which allows gas to continue to safely flow throughout the work. Service pipes – the smaller pipe which takes gas from the main to each property – are also being replaced. Property owners have been informed that this will mean a temporary disruption to their supply as the new connection is made. Advance notice will be given and supplies will be back on the same day they go off.
Steve Murray, who heads Cadent’s gas mains replacement programme in the North West, said: “This is a major investment to ensure local people and businesses continue to get a safe and reliable supply of gas.
“We’ve worked hard to minimise disruption such work can cause by virtue of the fact gas mains pipes are often underneath main roads.
“Our team is working hard to get the job done as quickly as possible and we appreciate the understanding of residents and motorists as we do this.”
If customers have any queries about this work, they should contact the customer service team for the North West on 0161 703 1000