Blackburn: ongoing six-month gas pipe upgrade reaches busy junction

28 Apr 2017

A major project to upgrade pipes supplying gas to homes and businesses in Blackburn reaches a busy road junction next week.

National Grid Gas Distribution must replace iron gas mains under the A674 Preston Old Road, as they are reaching the end of their operational life. The six-month scheme, which started in January, involves replacing metal pipes with tough plastic ones that will last for at least 80 years.

Stephen Murray, head of contract, said:

“This is necessary work, to ensure local residents and businesses can continue to enjoy safe and reliable gas supplies, for heating and cooking. This is a main route through Blackburn, so we’re working hard to minimise inevitable disruption for motorists and residents.

“From Tuesday (2 May), temporary four-way traffic lights will operate on the cross-road junction of Preston Old Road, Buncer Lane, Redlam and Spring Lane. These will be in place for approximately 10 weeks. They will be manually operated between 7am and 7pm, seven days a week, to keep traffic flowing as best it can and to ensure motorists face the shortest delays possible.

“We appreciate people’s patience and co-operation while we carry out this work.”

This work is part of a country-wide, 30-year programme – required by regulators – to upgrade metal gas pipes with plastic (polyethylene) pipes. As well as replacing the large diameter gas mains pipe, the smaller diameter feeds to individual properties are also being upgraded.

The timeline for this project will see pipes supplying properties in Redlam upgraded over the three weeks starting 2 May. The teams will then move to Buncer Lane for two weeks (starting around 23 May), then to the end of Redlam, on the four-way junction, for one week (starting around 6 June) and then onto Preston Old Road for two weeks (starting around 13 June). Gas teams will send letters and go door-to-door to give advance notice and explain more about the work.

Once the teams reach Preston Old Road, around 13 June, there will be a road closure in place in Markham Road, with diversions in place for two weeks.

National Grid Gas Distribution has a customer team on hand to answer any queries from residents or business owners. They can be reached on 0161 703 1000 / 1010.

If anyone smells gas during the six-month scheme (or at any time), it is important they do not dismiss it as related to the ongoing work. Report it immediately to the national gas emergency line 0800 111 999 (calls to this number are recorded and may be monitored).

To find out more about how National Grid Gas Distribution replaces gas mains and how that affects residents and businesses, see

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Notes for editors

Notes to Editors

National Grid Gas Distribution is the UK’s largest gas distribution network with a 200-year legacy. We are in a unique position to build on strong foundations whilst encouraging the curiosity to think differently and the courage to embrace change. Day to day we continue to operate, maintain and innovate the UK’s largest gas network, transporting gas safely and protecting people in an emergency. Our skilled engineers and specialists remain committed to the communities we serve, working day and night to ensure gas reaches 11 million homes from Cumbria to North London and the welsh borders to East Anglia, to keep your energy flowing. 

National Grid Gas Distribution manages the national gas emergency service free phone line on behalf of the gas industry - 0800 111 999 (All calls are recorded and may be monitored).

National Grid Gas Distribution Ltd is majority owned by a consortium of global investors composed of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (14.5%), CIC Capital (10.5%), Allianz Capital Partners (10.2%), Hermes Investment Management (8.5%), The Qatar Investment Authority, (8.5%), Amber/INPP (4.4%) and Dalmore Capital (4.4%).  National Grid plc retains a 39% stake [following the sale of the majority stake completed in March 2017].

Notes to Editors:

National Grid is one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the world and was named Responsible Business of the Year 2014 by Business in the Community. This accolade acknowledges all of our efforts in getting involve with the things that really matter to us and to society. We own and manage the grids that connect people to the energy they need, from whatever the source.  In Britain and the north-eastern states of the US we run systems that deliver gas and electricity to millions of people, businesses and communities.

In Britain, we run the gas and electricity systems that our society is built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country.  In the North Eastern US, we connect more than seven million gas and electric customers to vital energy sources, essential for our modern lifestyles.

National Grid in the UK:

  • We own the high-voltage electricity transmission network in England and Wales, operating it across Great Britain
  • We own and operate the high pressure gas transmission system in Britain
  • We also own a number of related businesses including LNG importation, land remediation and metering
  • Our portfolio of other businesses is mainly concerned with infrastructure provision and related services where we can exploit our core skills and assets to create value. These businesses operate in areas such as Metering, Grain LNG Import, Interconnectors and Property. National Grid Carbon Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of National Grid. It undertakes Carbon Capture Storage related activities on behalf of National Grid.

Find out more about the energy challenge and how National Grid is helping find solutions to some of the challenges we face at

National Grid undertakes no obligation to update any of the information contained in this release, which speaks only as at the date of this release, unless required by law or regulation.

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