A major project to urgently boost Preston’s gas network – and remove concerns about gas supply to thousands of homes – started this week (w/c 18 October).
Significant recent development in areas north of the city, around the Fulwood, Ingol and Cottam areas, has put a huge strain on existing gas infrastructure.
Cadent, which manages Lancashire’s gas distribution network, has flagged that this continued, fast growth is now putting ongoing reliable supply at risk.
With more than 83 per cent of homes using gas for central heating, it needs to act.
Cadent will invest £500,000 to install 1,200 metres of new pipes, and associated assets, through a four-phase scheme set to run into early 2022.
This involves working mostly in Lightfoot Lane and Tom Benson Way.
For the latest on the project, go to www.cadentgas.com/preston and see the 'timetable' tab.
Details of the scheme
Cadent has worked with Lancashire County Council’s highways team on a scheme that gets the work done safely and keeps roads OPEN both ways, with traffic lights.
Gas will continue to flow during the work (supply should not be impacted).
Phase 1, started 18th October 2021 (for around two weeks)
Work is taking place near the roundabout where Tanterton Hall Road, Tag Lane and Tom Benson Way meet. There will be minimal carriageway incursion during this first phase and traffic will continue to flow in all directions.
Phase 2: started 25th October (for around three weeks)
Specialist teams and machinery will drill 100 metres directly under the roundabout at Lightfoot Lane, just after Preston Grasshoppers’ ground (heading towards Preston).
This method ensures the road stays OPEN, but with traffic lights to manage the flow of vehicles. Please budget for queuing traffic.
Phase 3: starting 1st November (for around a week)
This involves the installation of 100 metres of new pipes under a section of Lightfoot Lane, near the junction with The Maples. This will again be done in the same traffic lights set up for phase 2,
Phase 4: starting around 15th November, to January/February 2022
More than 1,000 metres of new pipes will be put under Lightfoot Lane and Tom Benson Way. Teams will work in short segments – reinstating the road surface as soon as they have completed each segment. There will be lights to manage the safe flow of vehicles around the work area. Please budget for queuing traffic.
During phase 4, the engineers will work seven days a week on the project, while advice will be taken from environmental health officials with regards to hours of work – given there are residential developments nearby and the work (at times) will be noisy.
A website – www.cadentgas.com/preston
- includes maps and other information on the project. Updates will be added, particularly as each stage is completed.
Craig Horrocks, Head of Investment Planning Office (North West), Cadent, said: “This essential and necessary work, to keep people warm in their homes. We hope you understand we are doing everything we can to complete the work as fast but as safely as possible, using techniques - such as drilling under the roundabout – that enables traffic to continue to flow, albeit with traffic lights in place.
“We’re liaising with organisations in the area, to try and avoid clashes with events where we can. For example, we’re working with Preston Grasshoppers to aim to be off-site – with no traffic lights – when its bonfire night event takes place there. At the request of the local authority, we also plan to stand-down for a couple of weeks during the build-up to Christmas.”
If you smell gas
If you smell gas during this work, nearby or anywhere, always ring the national gas emergency service immediately, day or night, on 0800 111 999*. Do not delay, or assume it’s related to this work. It may not be and must be checked.
Cadent in the North West
Cadent operates four of the UK’s eight gas distribution networks – North West England, West Midlands, Eastern England and North London.
Its North West network stretches from the Lake District to Crewe and is home to 21,000 miles of distribution pipes (most of them underground) and hundreds of above ground installations. If placed end to end, that amount of pipes would stretch from Stockport to Sydney, Australia, and back again.
Around £800m will be invested in the North West’s gas network over the next five years. This will maintain safe, secure supplies to homes, hospitals, schools, offices and other sites, as well as support the UK journey to net zero carbon emissions.
Backed by Cadent and many partners, the North West region is set to lead the way in a major shift from fossil gases to hydrogen. Producing only heat and water at point of use, hydrogen is key to the UK’s net zero future and is set to be introduced at volume in the North West during the 2020s (see www.hynet.co.uk