Essential work is under way to replace a section of ageing, underground gas mains that help to heat thousands of homes in Stratford-upon-Avon and a wide area south of the town.
Cadent, which manages the local gas network, has concerns about the deteriorating condition of a metallic main that runs directly across Clifford Lane, underneath the road surface.
To get access to the main, and replace it with a durable plastic pipe, the road will need to be closed, starting 16th October.
Work has already started – in the fields adjacent to the road – but the road closure itself starts only from Friday.
At this stage, the closure is expected to last up to five weeks but is being kept under continuing review.
Meetings and discussions have been held with local businesses, schools, councillors and other stakeholders as Cadent seeks to minimise the impact of the road closure.
“We know this is far from ideal, but this work has to happen, to ensure we can deliver the gas relied on by thousands of customers to heat their homes,” said Craig Horrocks, from Cadent, who manages the gas mains replacement programme in the area.
“We can’t leave this any longer. The pipe is in a very bad condition. If it fails, many thousands of customers would lose their source of heating, just as the colder months of the year are upon us.
“The pipe runs across Clifford Lane, underneath it, so it has to be closed to carry out the work.
“What we don’t know yet is exactly how long the closure will last. We have said up to five weeks and are still working towards that.
“However, getting on-site, working in the fields now and in the road from Friday [16th Oct], will give us the essential, in-situ information we need to confirm the duration.
“We held a meeting (online, 23 September) with dozens of business owners and councillors, and have had many discussions before and since.
“We completely understand the disruption this will cause and are working hard to lessen the impact on the local community.”