A plan has been confirmed to avoid congestion and disruption on one of Shropshire’s busiest roads while engineers carry out essential work on an old gas main that runs directly under it.
The county’s gas network Cadent needs to abandon a nine-metre section of ‘live’ pipe that was originally installed under Shrewsbury Road, Craven Arms, about 100 years ago.
Situated close to the entrance to Tuffins Supermarket, it was once part of a larger pipeline that carried gas from a nearby storage site to thousands of local homes.
But that plant has long since gone, and gas demand from those properties is today met by a more modern pipe network made from long-lasting, durable plastic.
Essentially a dead end, this metallic section is no longer needed and its safety risk increases as it gets older. It needs to be abandoned.
The gas team moves in on Saturday 10th October and will work overnight only, between 8pm and 6am, for up to nine evenings. During these work times only, traffic lights will control the flow of vehicles in the areas. No work takes place during daytime hours (6am to 8pm) – during these hours, the traffic lights will be removed, and vehicles will travel freely in all directions, as normal.
There should be no interruption to gas supplies.
Advance notice signs are now on display on the approaches to the work area and local residents and businesses have been made aware of what’s happening.
Craig Horrocks, from Cadent, who heads the team responsible for upgrading ageing gas mains and abandoning such redundant pipes, said: “This pipe is 100 years old and removing it from the network, so that gas no longer gets into it, means we eradicate all of the safety risk.
“We’ve worked hard, with Highways England and local authorities, to make sure we can do the work in the least disruptive way possible. Limiting our work to night-time only means we can work safely to get the job done and have the road open as normal when traffic is at its busiest.”
Cadent in the West Midlands
Cadent manages the local gas network in the West Midlands, some 21,000 miles of pipes and hundreds of above ground stations that distribute gas safely to around two million homes, schools, hospitals, offices and other buildings, as well as to industrial sites and HGV fuelling stations. That amount of pipes, if placed end to end, would run from Shropshire to Hawaii, and back again.
Around 83 per cent of homes in the region have gas central heating. With ever greener gases entering the network – such as biomethane (gas from trash) now and the arrival of hydrogen expected soon – the gas network will be a key feature of the UK journey to net zero.