Major work starts on Monday (1 June) to begin replacing an underground gas pipe that helps heat thousands of homes in the Marple Bridge area of Stockport.
With increasing frequency over recent years, teams from gas network Cadent have been fixing small leaks on the pipe that runs under Lower Fold and Brabyns Brow.
Installed in 1915, the leaks are a sign that it is reaching the end of its operational life and the pipe is now classed as a priority for replacement.
That process starts on 1 June, as the first 25-metre section – under Lower Fold, near to Waters Edge – is replaced.
This first phase will allow the teams to replace a key section of pipe, as well as gather information to inform how – and when – the rest of the ageing main gets replaced.
With such a large excavation in the carriageway, there is no a safe distance for vehicles to pass – so the road must be closed
at this point.
The work is scheduled for 16 days, but the closure will be lifted sooner if assessed as safe to do so.
A signed diversion route will be in place for drivers.
Craig Horrocks, who heads Cadent’s mains replacement programme in the North West, said: “This is essential work, replacing a very old main that’s reached the end of its life.
“The gas it carries is relied on by most homes in the local area for central heating, cooking and hot water.
“We have to replace it, to be sure that we can continue to supply gas in a way that’s safe and reliable.
“Closing a road is something we always try to avoid, but with our teams working in the carriageway, there just isn’t a safe way we can allow vehicles to pass us.
“We know this was always going to be disruptive and with roads a little quieter than normal, we’ve probably not had a better opportunity to go in and get this work done.
“Our teams will work seven days a week, and extended hours, and we’ll aim to lift the closure as soon as we can.
“I know this isn’t ideal, but I hope people understand it is necessary work to keep your gas network safe.”
Pedestrian access will be maintained and there should be no interruption to gas supplies in the local area.
Further information is being sent directly to properties close to the work area, including to homes, schools and businesses. A customer team is available on 0800 121 4444.
The UK Government has classed work undertaken by energy networks like Cadent as essential during the Covid-19 outbreak, as they are ensuring a safe and reliable gas supply. Engineers work to the latest government guidance and are taking extra safety precautions as required
Cadent manages 21,000 miles of gas mains in North West England, which distribute gas to 2.7 million properties. It also provides the region’s 24/7, 365-day gas emergency service. More than 80 per cent of UK homes use gas for central heating.