A COLOSSAL feat to upgrade 27,000 metres of old gas mains in Winsford has begun.

Some of the old metallic mains dating back to the 1940s have helped heat thousands of homes since the 1940s.

Cadent, which manages the north west’s gas mains, is investing £3.5 million to transform its network in the town, ensuring long-term, safe, reliable supplies.

More than 87 per cent of Winsford’s 13,000 homes use gas for central heating.

Northwich Guardian:

Cadent team Paul Dawes, Christopher Craigs, Declan Burnside, Chris Neilson, Paul Burnside, Dave Smith, Phil Owens working in the Esk Road area

These underground pipes are reaching the end of their safe working lives and have been identified for replacement as part of a UK wide programme.

Work started in Winsford during the summer and is taking place in small pockets, with teams moving street to street and estate to estate over the course of about a year.

The completed job will see 27,000 metres of pipes upgraded.

“This is vital work, future-proofing our gas mains so customers in Winsford can receive safe and reliable supplies, for heating their homes and cooking meals,” said Richard Cook, Cadent's construction services north west manager.

Northwich Guardian:

Richard Cook, Cadent's construction services north west manager

“It’s taken months of planning and ongoing close collaboration with Cheshire West and Chester Council to agree the best time to carry out each stage and how best to safely manage pedestrians and traffic passing our work areas.

“Safety is always our top priority and I really want to thank people for their patience and understanding as we complete this essential upgrade.”

As well as the gas mains in the road, the smaller service pipes which carry gas from the bigger main into a home will be upgraded.

This will require that home’s gas supply to be switched off temporarily.

Residents will receive a letter giving them a month's advance notice of when the work is due to start and are being reassured that their gas supply will be restored on the same day it goes off.

Northwich Guardian:

The completed job will see 27,000 metres of pipes upgraded

Any elderly or vulnerable residents can contact Cadent to arrange for alternative heating whilst the work is being carried out.

A dedicated team is in place to support customers in Winsford and answer queries during the upgrade work. They can be reached on 0345 450 8490.

A full list of streets where work will take place is at cadentgas.com/winsford

North west England is the focus of big plans to use hydrogen, which emits zero-carbon at point of use, to help heat homes. Cheshire is already home to several sites which produce bio-gases from waste that would otherwise end up in landfill. Transforming the local network ensures Winsford can safely take delivery of these gases.

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If you smell gas, do not dismiss it as connected to this work. Report it immediately to the national gas emergency number 0800 111 999.

Cadent is a gas distribution network, responsible for safely transporting gas to more than 11 million customers in north west England, the Midlands, east of England and north London, through more than 80,000 miles of pipes. It also provides the 24/7 year round gas emergency service to the same regions.