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12,889 metres of gas pipe to be replaced in Preston as part of essential upgrades

Posted on - 19th April, 2021 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Preston News
Preston's skyline from the Docks Pic: Tony Worrall
Preston’s skyline from the Docks Pic: Tony Worrall

Details of a programme to upgrade the North West’s oldest gas mains have revealed that 12,889 metres of pipe will be replaced in Preston, and 1,714 in Ribble Valley.

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Each year, Cadent replaces around 300 to 350 miles of its 21,000 mile North West underground pipe distribution system.

These are mostly ageing metallic mains nearing the natural end of their safe operating lives.

Cadent has been working with the highways authorities to agree the best and least disruptive timings to carry out these essential upgrades.

Read more: Further investment agreed for Lancashire’s roads and walking and cycling facilities

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Upgrading to plastic ensures a long-term safe network and helps get it ready for the introduction of greener gases like hydrogen and biomethane, which are both essential to the UK achieving net zero carbon emissions.

Letters will be sent to properties in the vicinity of the work areas in the weeks leading up to start dates.

The programme will factor in, and seek to avoid clashing with, any major events that may take place once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

Read more: Prestonians encouraged to remain vigilant as restrictions begin to ease across the city and county

Craig Horrocks, who heads Cadent’s gas mains upgrade work in the region, said: “More than 80 per cent of homes in the North West rely on gas for central heating and it’s our job to make sure they get it, safely and reliably, every minute of every day of the year.

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“We’re also excited by the arrival soon of hydrogen to our networks, a zero-carbon gas at point of use, as well as low-carbon biomethane, a gas made from waste.

“Both are essential to the UK reaching its goal to have net zero carbon emissions.

“As our older stock reaches the end of its safe working life, we must replace it.

“In most cases we’re able to insert the new pipe into the old one, a technique that reduces the time of each project and means we don’t have to dig as many excavations.

“It also means an end to what often becomes increasingly-frequent visits – with associated disruption – to repair faults on the older metallic mains, as they start to show signs of age.

“We know it’s not ideal, but my team is determined to move as quickly as they safely can and get the work done with as little disruption as possible.”

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