Future-proofing Oldham’s gas mains: major project completed two months early

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  • 2km gas main upgrade in Royton ends two months ahead of schedule
  • Project is one of biggest by gas network Cadent in the North West this year
  • Royton councillor praises team for keeping residents informed and the site tidy
Engineers have completed the upgrade of 2km of underground gas pipes in Oldham, two months early.
Starting in March and originally scheduled to end in December, the contractors working for gas network Cadent are now off site in Royton, having inserted a new plastic pipe (equivalent in diameter to a big car tyre) into the existing, ageing, metal main.
The upgrade, one of the biggest to be undertaken in the North West this year by Cadent, ensures a safe and reliable gas supply to the area, for heating and cooking, until at least the end of the century.
Jimmy Byron, site manager, said: “We’ve worked hard to keep residents informed as we worked along Middleton Road. It’s been a big job, involving removing and replacing more than 100 tonnes of concrete and inserting a 500mm durable plastic pipe into the old metal main. We’ve reduced the risk of leaks and damage, which in turn means we keep energy flowing to this part of Oldham.
“We know our work leads to traffic issues and we’re grateful to residents and motorists for being patient while we carried out this essential work.”
The contractors liaised with Oldham Council over the traffic management arrangements throughout the works.
Councillor James Larkin, Chair of Royton District Executive, said: “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Cadent and its contractors for the hard work on this major project in Royton. The site has been kept clean and the work has even been finished ahead of schedule.
“My colleagues and I are aware of the disruption these works inevitably caused, particularly during both the morning and evening rush hours. However, I’d like to thank Roytoners for their patience during this time, and the team working for Cadent, for keeping local residents well informed.”
The Royton project is one of many mains replacement projects happening across the UK, as part of a 30-year pipe replacement programme developed by the gas networks in conjunction with the Health and Safety Executive and industry regulator Ofgem. This year alone in the North West, Cadent, the UK’s biggest gas distribution network, is investing £77.5m to replace 500km of mains pipes.
Cadent distributes gas to 2.7m homes and businesses in the North West, through a network comprising 34,000km of pipes. Across its entire UK footprint, Cadent keeps energy flowing to 11 million homes, from the Lake District to North London and the Welsh borders to East Anglia.


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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