This is the reason why there is increased traffic congestion in Mottram at the moment [see photo below].
Cadent, which manages the local gas network, had to act immediately to control a leak on a gas pipe beneath Ashworth Lane.
This pipe distributes gas to around 7,000 properties in the area, for heating, hot water and cooking.
Cadent’s priority has been to keep everyone safe, as well as do everything it can to keep gas flowing to those homes.
To gain access to the pipe, its team dug to a 1.5 metres depth, and to eight metres in one direction and four metres in another (in a ‘T’ formation).
They have carried out work to ensure no gas is entering nearby properties – some are just metres from the pipe.
Now specialist contractors, based in Wales, are set to move in to carry out the repair work.
This involves first installing a temporary bypass pipe, so that gas can flow around the area that needs to be worked on.
Engineers will then be able to safely work on the leak and install a new section.
Once safely installed, commissioned and fully tested, the extensive work to backfill the huge excavation can begin, to allow the road to reopen.
“We know it’s been frustrating for motorists to be impacted by the closure of Ashworth Lane,” said Trevor Lubbock, Customer Operations Area Manager, Cadent.
“But this picture shows that this is no ordinary job. It’s presenting a lot of challenges for us.
“We need to keep gas flowing, so that 7,000 homes have the gas they need for heating, hot water and cooking.
“We also need to make sure everyone is kept safe, including people who live and work nearby, as well as our own engineers.
“At the moment, it’s looking probable that we will be working on this until at least the middle of March.
“We know that’s not ideal and hope people understand we are treating this very much as a ‘safety first’ operation.”
A full closure of Ashworth Lane, near the junction with Market Place, remains in place. There is not enough room for vehicles to pass safely.
Traffic needs to follow alternative routes, which is leading to unavoidable added congestion on nearby roads.
Cadent manages the 21,000-mile gas distribution network in North West England, ensuring gas safely reaches 2.7 million properties for heating, hot water and cooking.
It also provides the region’s 24/7, year-round gas emergency service.
If you smell gas, always call 0800 111 999* immediately, day or night. Do not assume it is related to nearby work. It may not be and needs to be checked.