NATIONAL Grid is continuing its work to modernise Chester’s gas supply network with engineers on track to start renewing mains in Northgate Street, Upper Northgate Street and Eastgate Street early in the New Year.
The scheme has been carefully planned with Cheshire West and Chester Council to minimise disruption to bus services and local businesses during installation operations.
During the first phase of the work, engineers will be renewing gas mains on Northgate Street between the junctions with George Street and King Street and access along Northgate Street will only be available to pedestrians and cyclists.
Delivery vehicles and buses will be diverted via St Martin’s Way, Princess Street and Hunter Street and the flow of traffic on Hunter Street will be reversed. The bus station will remain open but all parking on Northgate Street, including for disabled motorists, will be suspended.
Diversions during the works on Northgate Street will be clearly signposted and access for deliveries will be maintained. For more information, please contact Customer Services on 0161 703 1000 or 1010.
John Edwards of the North West Gas Alliance – a National Grid – Balfour Beatty partnership responsible for the bulk of the region’s renewal work, said: “The gas pipes which run beneath the streets of Chester have served the city well - but the time has now come to replace them.
“This is a vital exercise in forward planning, designed to achieve both continued safety and a first class gas supply network for Chester over the next eighty years.”
Whilst some traffic disruption will be inevitable, months of talks and planning have taken place between all organisations involved designed to minimise the effect of the vital renewal works.
John added: “We know that people will be concerned about the potential disruption but we are appealing for them to have patience with us during these essential works.”
Said, Councillor Lynne Riley, Executive Member, Community and Environment: “The gas mains being replaced are at least 70 to 80-years-old and the reason for their replacement is quite simply to ensure the safety of our residents.
“I don't think there will be anyone who doubts the validity of the Health and Safety Executive's argument.”
Added Councillor Riley: “Whilst it is impossible to carry out this sort of city centre work without some inconvenience, we will do everything possible to minimise disruption to everyone who could potentially be affected. Obviously, once completed the new mains will be good for another 80 years.”
The work in Northgate Street will be completed before the start of the Easter holidays, but timings of individual phases of work could be subject to change as archaeological investigations will be carried out as work progresses
National Grid is the country’s largest utility and is spending a total of £20m over a five year period on renewing mains in and around the city centre.
The replacement of over 88 miles of iron gas pipe – much of it laid in the early part of the last century - with polyethylene gas main is part of a national programme driven by the Health and Safety Executive.
The replacement of over 88 miles of iron gas pipe with polyethylene gas main is part of a national programme driven by the Health and Safety Executive.