- Final stages of upgrade to a gas pipe that’s almost a century old
- New pipe is now carrying gas to help heat thousands of properties
- Part of an £800m plan to build a greener gas network for North West
Work to upgrade one of Fleetwood’s oldest gas mains is close to completion.
Teams working for Cadent have been modernising a section of pipe that runs underneath the town’s Lord Street. It was approaching 100 years old and identified for replacement as part of an £800m upgrade of the North West’s gas network.
To access the pipe safely, the project team arranged for all trams to Fleetwood to temporarily terminate and start at Fisherman’s Walk. This then left enough space in Lord Street for the gas works to happen and to keep road traffic moving.
Now, with the final section of what will be several hundred metres of new pipe almost in and operating, Cadent can confirm that everything is ‘on track’ for the tram routes to resume normal service from next Monday (4 April), if not sooner.
Teams will continue reinstatement work elsewhere on Lord Street beyond that date, but this work will not impact the trams or road traffic.
The work, which began in January, is part of a major investment to build a greener future for the gas network, getting it ready to switch from fossil gas to hydrogen.
This is key to local and national targets for reducing carbon emissions to ‘net zero’ levels.
The pipe is part of the unseen, underground network that supplies gas to thousands of properties in the Fleetwood area.
Work was planned in such a way that enabled gas to continue to flow throughout, other than for brief periods when each property that takes a direct feed from this main had a new connection established.
Tram passengers have been advised to use buses for the suspended section of the route, at no extra cost.
“To carry out big engineering projects like this, in a safe way, in areas where there’s lots of pedestrians, traffic and in this case trams too, requires careful planning and a lot of behind-the-scenes collaboration to make it happen,” explained Craig Horrocks, who heads Cadent’s Investment Planning Office in the North West.
“We’re now close to completion and I really want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding while we got this essential work done.”
Cadent in the North West
Cadent operates four of the UK’s eight gas distribution networks – North West England, West Midlands, Eastern England and North London.
Its North West network stretches from the Lake District to Crewe and is home to 21,000 miles of distribution pipes (most of them underground) and hundreds of above ground installations. If placed end to end, that amount of pipes would stretch from the North West to Sydney, Australia, and back again.
Around £800m will be invested in the North West’s gas network over the next five years. This will maintain safe, secure supplies to homes, hospitals, schools, offices, and other sites, and provide greener options for heating our homes.
Backed by Cadent and many partners, the North West region is set to lead the way in a major shift from fossil gases to hydrogen. Producing only heat and water at point of use, hydrogen is key to the UK’s net zero future and is set to be introduced at volume in the North West this decade (see www.hynet.co.uk
If you smell gas
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.