Swinton: big pipe upgrade keeps gas flowing safely to heat homes

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  • Big gas main first installed in 1951 is being upgraded and future-proofed
  • This is major engineering work, requiring months of planning and liaison with the local authority to keep pedestrians, motorists and workers safe – and maintain access to two local cemeteries on Langley Road
  • The new main will last more than 80 years, ensuring gas flows safely and reliably to homes and businesses in the local area
Work to upgrade and future-proof an underground gas main which has helped heat homes in Swinton for nearly 70 years has started.
Cadent, which manages the North West’s gas mains, needs to replace the old cast iron main to maintain the safe delivery of gas for heating homes.
More than 87 per cent of the 10,000 households in Swinton use gas for central heating, with many also using it for cooking meals and hot water.
The current 24-inch diameter main – so, around the same diameter as a car tyre – was installed in 1951. It has been identified for replacement as part of a 30-year, multi-million-pound, UK-wide programme to upgrade ageing gas assets.
Planning teams are sensitive to the presence along the route of two cemeteries – Agecroft Cemetery and Crematorium and North Manchester Jewish Cemetery – and are working with site managers to ensure access is maintained.
Work started 17 June and will take 16 weeks. In total, more than 1,000 metres of main will be upgraded, mostly by inserting the new plastic pipe into the old one. Traffic can still travel along Langley Road, with traffic lights managing the safe flow of vehicles around the work areas and excavations in the road.
“This is vital work, future-proofing our gas mains so customers in Swinton can enjoy safe and reliable supplies, for heating their homes and cooking meals,” said Craig Horrocks, who heads Cadent’s mains replacement in the North West.
“Our gas mains are mostly located underneath roads, which means we face a big challenge to safely carry out heavy engineering schemes in close proximity to motorists and pedestrians. So, as you can imagine, the start of work this month in Langley Road is actually the culmination of months of planning, including liaising with Salford Council, to agree the best time to carry out the work and how best to safely manage pedestrians and traffic passing our work area.
“Safety is always our top priority, and I really want to thank people for their patience and understanding as we complete this essential upgrade.”
The work has started on Agecroft Road, close to where it joins Langley Road. The team will be here for around three weeks. They will then move to Whit Lane and work up Langley Road to the junction with Agecroft Road. Whit Lane (which runs off Langley Road) will be closed for around 12 weeks – between Balfour Street and Dunedin Drive – with local diversions signposted.
Home owners and business in the immediate vicinity – within the work area and around 500 metres either side – have received letters about the work. This explains that a customer team is available on 0161 703 1110.
If you smell gas, do not dismiss it as connected to this work. Report it immediately to 0800 111 999*.
Cadent is a gas distribution network, responsible for safely transporting gas to more than 11 million customers in North West England, the Midlands, East of England and North London, through more than 80,000 miles of pipes. It also provides the 24/7, year-round gas emergency service to the same regions.
*Calls to this number are recorded and may be monitored.


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.

Cadent manages the national gas emergency service free phone line on behalf of the gas industry - 0800 111 999*

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