Swinton: details of project to upgrade 19th century gas main

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  • Work starts Monday (23rd November) to upgrade a vital underground gas main
  • Part of it was installed in 1893 and it carries gas to thousands of local homes
  • Project timetabled to avoid clash with major road junction improvement
More than £50,000 is being invested to upgrade a gas main that’s helped to heat homes and other buildings in the Swinton area for nearly 130 years.
Cadent, which manages the North West’s 21,000 miles of gas mains, says the pipe under Partington Lane has reached the natural end of its life and needs replacing to ensure safety.
Upgrading such ageing metallic pipes with durable plastic gets them ready to carry greener gases – biomethane (now) and hydrogen (coming soon) – well into the future.

Every year, the gas distributor upgrades around 1% to 2% of its extensive network.
Around 80% of homes in the Salford area have gas central heating.
Gas stays ON throughout the project, with the only interruption to supplies being a small number of properties which take their feed directly from this 350-metre section of gas main.
For these properties, gas will be back on the same day it goes off and advance notice will be given.

Details of the Partington Lane project

On Monday (23 November), in the first of two phases, gas teams will begin work in Partington Lane, occupying one lane of the carriageway in the direction of Chorley Road, near to where these two roads meet.
Traffic can still flow in both directions as the teams upgrade this 100-metre section, but there will be no left turn from Partington Lane onto Chorley Road. Diversion routes will be signposted.
This section will be completed before Christmas. Details of timing and the method of upgrading the remaining 250 metre section are to be confirmed later.
Completing phase one now means Salford Council’s planned work to upgrade the Partington Lane / Chorley Road junction is not impacted. The two projects cannot run at the same time, as it is not safe to do so.
“This is an old pipe, a workhorse of the gas network installed some 130 years ago,” said Craig Horrocks, who heads Cadent’s gas mains replacement programme in North West England. “It is though starting to show signs of its age and must now be replaced to ensure safety and reliability.”
He added: “We’ve worked closely with Salford Council to come up with a plan that minimises the inevitable disruption that happens with major engineering work like this. We know it’s not ideal and I really appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we get this essential work done.”

Cadent in the North West

Cadent manages 21,000 miles of gas mains and hundreds of above ground stations that distribute gas to more than 2.7 million homes across North West England.
If placed end to end, that amount of pipes would run from Swinton all the way to Sydney, Australia, and back again.
Every year, it upgrades more than 300 miles of pipes in the North West, as they reach the end of their safe working lives.
This huge, mostly unseen network carries gas that helps heat around 83 per cent of all UK homes (80% in Salford), as well as supplying schools, offices, businesses and industry, and fuelling HGVs.
Gas has been a feature of the UK energy system for over 200 years, with Salford being one of its early adopters (the first municipal supply was established here in 1819).
Looking to the future, plans are advanced to introduce green gases like hydrogen to the gas network in North West England soon, playing a big role in the UK journey to net zero. Unlike methane (the gas mostly used today), there are no carbon emissions from hydrogen at point of use – just heat and water.


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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Kevin Hegarty


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