- Work expected to start in August* to replace a 100-metre stretch of gas main under High Street, Whitchurch
- Businesses and councils have been consulted and timing of the project selected by them as least disruptive option
- Public drop-in sessions planned for 6 July: an opportunity to learn more about this essential work to ensure safe and reliable local gas supply
Work is set to get under way soon to upgrade an essential gas pipe that sits within High Street in Whitchurch town centre.
The main, which serves hundreds of properties locally, needs to be replaced as part of the UK-wide scheme to guarantee a safe and reliable supply.
Businesses operating on High Street and local councils have been consulted and agreed the timing as the least disruptive option.
The road must be closed to vehicles to ensure safe passage for pedestrians and members of the public.
High Street – and all businesses – will remain open
to pedestrians throughout the scheme.
This main has been identified for urgent replacement as part of a programme to upgrade existing metallic gas mains across the UK.
Last year alone, local gas distribution network Cadent invested £65m to improve 370km of mains pipes across the West Midlands.
Like all metallic gas pipes, the High Street main will be replaced with a tough, durable plastic pipe that will ensure a safe and reliable supply until the end of the century.
Planners have worked with local businesses to ensure deliveries of goods can be made throughout. The road will be closed at the junction with Green End. Diversions routes will be signed. A small stretch of Pepper Street (20 metres) is also affected.
Cadent, the gas distribution network co-ordinating the work, and its contractors Balfour Beatty, will have a stall at the market on 6 July to explain the work. There will also be a drop-in session at the Civic Centre from 5pm to 7pm in the evening.
Whitchurch Mayor, Councillor Tony Neville
, said: “We know this work needs to be done and our priority has been to ensure it causes least possible disruption to town centre life. Whitchurch Town Council
has worked with Shropshire Council
, Cadent, and its contractors Balfour Beatty
, to identify and find solutions to potential issues.
“The public consultation event on 6 July in the Civic Centre is important too in helping explain what’s happening and why, so I’d encourage people to come along and ask questions.”
Steve Murray, who heads Cadent’s gas mains replacement programme in the West Midlands, said: “We are incredibly grateful for the understanding and support we’ve received locally while we’ve planned this work to date.
“This is essential work, part of a nationwide programme, to ensure we can safely distribute gas to homes in the local area, for heating and cooking.
“Our pipes are often situated under roads, so it’s inevitable we will cause disruption when we carry out work like this.
“We’ve worked closely with businesses and councils in Whitchurch to draw up a work plan to minimise this as much as possible.
“We will have teams booked and ready to move quick to reinstate the road surface and walkways as soon as the pipe replacement work finishes.”
A technique is being used that will keep gas flowing throughout the work.
Some service pipes – the smaller pipe which takes gas from the main to each property – are also being replaced. This will mean a temporary disruption to each property’s supply as the new connection is made. Advance notice will be given and supplies will be back on the same day they go off.
If you are unable to attend the sessions on 6 July, you can also contact the customer team for this job on 0161 703 1000
* This press release was updated online (on 9 July) after we agreed to change the original planned start date of 23 July. We were asked by business representatives and the town council if we could move the work to a later date and we now expect to begin this work towards the end of August.