From summer of love to summer holiday gas upgrade: Sheffield’s ‘60s gas mains get a 21st century facelift

  • Ageing gas mains to be replaced in Upwell Street, Sheffield
  • Upwell Street closed during school summer holidays
  • New pipes will keep gas flowing to local homes and businesses for decades to come
 Sheffield’s Joe Cocker was topping the charts and mini-skirts were all the rage when new gas mains were laid in the city’s Upwell Street. But more than half a century later the iron pipes are showing their age and are set for a major upgrade.

Local gas network Cadent will be renewing 350 metres of gas mains in A6102 Upwell Street between Holywell Road and Brightside Lane. Work starts on 23 July and is due to be finished by 2 September.

Cadent will be replacing the ageing metal gas mains with tough new plastic pipes the size of a car tyre that will last at least 80 years. The new pipes will ensure local people continue to enjoy safe and reliable gas supplies for cooking and heating until the end of the century.

As part of the work, engineers will need to install the new gas main down the centre of the road under the railway bridge. To keep people safe while the work is underway, Upwell Street will be closed to through traffic.

Vehicle access will be maintained for businesses. Diversion routes for through traffic will be clearly signed.
Cadent Authorising Engineer Paul Martin said: “The existing gas mains have been in the ground for more than half a century and are ageing. We are investing in new gas pipes to keep local homes warm and local businesses thriving for many years to come.
“We’ve planned the work for the school holidays to minimise any disruption. We’re aiming to finish it as soon as we can.  Once we’ve installed the new pipes we won’t need to come back and renew them until at least the end of the century.”
It may be necessary to temporarily disconnect people’s gas supplies for short periods while their gas service pipes (the pipes that take gas from the main in the road to their homes or businesses) are replaced. Anyone who is affected will be contacted beforehand.

If anyone has any enquiries about this work they should contact Cadent’s customer services team on 0800 096 5678. Find out more about how Cadent replaces gas mains and how that affects residents and businesses.

Six fab facts about Sixties Sheffield

While new gas mains were transforming the city underground, overground Sheffield was being revolutionised in the 1960s. Here are six fab facts about Sixties Sheffield:
  • The iconic Park Hill Flats were completed in 1961. They were opened in the same year by Hugh Gaitskell MP, Leader of the Opposition. The building was listed in 1998 and is the largest listed building in Europe.
  • Legendary Crookes-born rocker Joe Cocker scored his first UK chart hit in 1968 with his seminal cover of the Beatles’ ‘With a little help from my friends’. He went on to have a glittering career, winning Academy and Grammy Awards for his music.
  • University of Sheffield Arts Tower opened by Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother in 1966. The tower was described by English Heritage as ‘the most elegant university tower block in Britain of its period’. At 78 metres tall (256 feet) it was the tallest building in Sheffield between 1965 and 2010.
  • Sheffield-born nightclub impresario Peter Stringfellow opened his legendary King Mojo club in Pitsmoor in 1964. It brought stars such as Jimi Hendrix, Elton John and Wilson Pickett to city music fans.
  • National Grid’s Moore Street electricity substation was built in 1968. It was designed in the ‘brutalist’ style by Sheffield architects Jefferson, Sheard and Partners. Listing the building in 2013, English Heritage said: “It was an important component of the radical post-war regeneration of Sheffield, helping to revitalise the city after it was badly bombed.”
  • Sheffield’s Inner Ring Road, the dual carriage-way circling the city centre, began life in the 1960s.


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.

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